This morning, which brought the first frost, is to be spent like most mornings for what seems like the last year, revising. No, not revising for exams but revising the structure and content of a novel I thought I’d finished last Christmas. A jolly tale of three deaths in the Warwickshire countryside before the outbreak of the Second World War. I thought I’d got it right. Several re-readings, plus the sterling work of an excellent adviser in the form of a publisher who’s cautiously interested, have highlighted major inconsistencies and storylines that simply don’t work.
There’s an excellent free program called Pro-Writing Aid which helped with all the repeat words and phrases, redundancies, date inconsistencies and so on, but that was only really proof reading. It didn’t find the really serious structural problems, where the plot stalled, petered out altogether or sprung newly formed somewhere in the middle of the novel. It didn’t find the repeat action, where a character tells the same story twice (don’t laugh, it happens), nor did it help when I described a character as not too bright then give her the vocabulary of an Oxford don.
So here I sit, or at least will be shortly, going through the script again, marking even more passages to be moved, removed or rewritten. Wish me luck.
- Voice and Style (ninakaytel.wordpress.com)