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Editing, schmediting

Golden City, book 3 of the Realm Trilogy, is coming along. Lee Murray (https://www.leemurray.info/) has done such an amazing job with my manuscript. She was only supposed to be a beta reader, but she’s done quite an edit on it. I’m working my way through her comments, fixing word echoes and dialogue tags, removing cliches and weaving in more backstory.

I’m improving my POV (point of view) and internal dialogue but, most importantly, fixing some crucial plot points.

It’s taking longer than I’d hoped, but I know it’ll be worth it. Seven chapters down, sixteen to go. As they say, good things take time!

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Golden City – 2nd draft here I come

I’ve had a couple of beta reader comments back and I have a LOT of work to do. My very first sentence didn’t even make it un-edited:

“Freya’s heart thudded in her chest.”

Reviewer’s comment: “unless she is an alien or an odd animal, where else would her heart be? Delete ‘in her chest’.” Good point.

I remember my first big edit of Medar took 18 months. I’m hoping I’ll get through this in a couple of weeks. Wish me luck!

Word Echoes and eyebrows

I read my whole Golden City manuscript through for the first time yesterday. I picked up a whole lot of word echoes: that’s where you use the same word twice or more in close proximity. If it’s a really common word, that’s OK. But if it not so common, then it sticks out like a sore thumb.

I was obviously fixated on “raised his/her eyebrows”. I reckon I had at least one of those in every chapter. All my characters did it at least once. One of my characters even “fluttered her eyebrows”. I would like to see that!

I went through and did a search and replace on a number of words, including filter words (seem, felt, looked like, etc). I halved the instances of ‘stepped’, ‘grin’, ‘frowned’ and ‘alright’. I had 33 instances of ‘walk(ed)’! But mostly, that’s what they’re doing. There’s only so many times that you can replace ‘walked’ with ‘stumbled’, ‘hobbled’ or ‘tip-toed’.

Anyway, I just find it fascinating how unwittingly repetitive I can be.

Mission accomplished!

My first draft of Golden City is COMPLETE! I wrote from 7.30am to 4.45pm (7.5 hours) on Tuesday, adding 4,400 words to my manuscript. Then on Wednesday I wrote for nearly five hours, adding just over 4,000 words. I use the word ‘adding’ deliberately, because there was a fair amount of writing, then deleting and rewriting that went on. My final word count is just under 41,000 words.

Obviously, this is just the first cut. Now I will need to go back through and see if it flows properly or if there are any big holes in the story. Or if I’ve changed a character’s name partway through (done that before!).

It feels very, very strange to have finally brought this story to its conclusion, after harbouring it inside me for fifteen years! Whoop whoop!

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Writing Retreat!

I’m excited to be spending two days solid working on my third book, Golden City. It’s such a treat to have uninterrupted time. The past four months I’ve managed to spend four or six hours writing each weekend, but two whole days? Never. How’s this going to happen? Well, I’m accompanying my husband to Sydney, where he’s attending a 2-day conference. So I get to spend two days writing! And the best part? I think I might actually get the first draft finished!

And then three days holiday. Should be good!

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