Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Push Is On

Last time, I wrote about the excitement and apprehension of beginning the final edit of my novel, Fatal Encryption. Well, after reading my editor's insightful comments and taking a deep breath, I'm immersed in the process - or as much as one can be when you have a day job, errands, laundry, etc. Still, I've completed the first thirty pages and even took the first chapter to my weekly writers' group meeting. And here's what I discovered.

No matter how many times I've read my work, whether for pacing, or logic, or grammatical error, I've found something to change or tweak on nearly every page. And, boy, did this become evident while I was reading my work out loud. The group (approx. 13 people and over half are experienced writers) commented on the thrilling opening, the tight writing, but they didn't see what I saw while reading to them (they had copies to read with me). In that opening chapter, I have a character wiping his mouth on his shirt sleeve, but near the end of the chapter, I wrote about his sweat-soaked T-shirt. No one caught it, including my editor, but I did, probably because I read those pages out loud. I recommend this to anyone working on edits. There's something about the process that slows down the brain, makes you look at your work a little differently.

So, I'll be reading every chapter out loud. And while I won't have time to read all 36 chapters to the group, I can still do this at home, feel my colleagues peering over my shoulder, and know my writing will be better for it.

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