Monday, 6 February 2017

Getting it Done and Dusted by Cheryl Lang

I’ve finished my book, Lemongrass, a contemporary novel of approximately 85,000 words, set partly among the Greek Islands. I’ve read through and altered, deleted and added words and sentences I think might improve things. All this has been directly on the computer. Now I’m printing it out and going through it again. So why is it that reading the printed word throws up so many more anomalies?

I’m finding silly sentences like this: ‘The wind was stronger by the lighthouse and just offshore cormorants were drying their outspread wings on some rocks.’ It gave me a laugh, imagining the cormorants detaching their wings and putting them on the rocks to dry! There has to be some fun in the process. I have changed it now.

I also find that I have a bad habit of repeating a word, either in the same sentence or close by. The trouble is, I don’t always pick it up.

I’m also, hopefully, aware of continuity. It’s a bit disconcerting when you get halfway through the story and wonder if you’ve changed a character’s name or given too much information in one go.

Once I’ve been through the printed version, I’ll transfer it all to my kindle and read it on that for a different perspective. I hope to pick up any inconsistencies at this time and check the timeline is tenable. At this stage I hope to have a viable story.

And oh, the doubts! Is my male character strong enough? Likeable? Is the heroine's story interesting? Is the whole thing workable? Have I given enough background for the pair? Too much? Too little? Have I trickled it through the story and not as an information dump? It’s her story, told from her point of view, but should I make it dual points of view?

Doing the research is something I really enjoy. I'm drawn to exotic locations and love finding out facts relating to the area I want to write about. That usually leads me down further, diverse paths, but I have to be careful to only pick out details which are relevant to the novel I'm writing. There is so much information out there. I love it when I have a sudden question, like, where would I be able to dock a super yacht in the Mediterranean? Somewhere that has depth of water, sea room - a marina perhaps? Or a harbour big enough and with facilities. If I dig deep enough I usually find the answers I want.

Photos are particularly useful. When you’ve never visited a place and want to set a scene there, there are endless sources for photos and videos to help you out. However, travelling to a location is far better, as long as you make notes.

So, for my next novel, I’ll really need to visit Malaysia, or maybe, Vietnam or Mauritius! The list goes on.

1 comment:

  1. Lemongrass is a lovely title. Hope the rest of the editing is a breeze! I find discovering somewhere new helps to fill the creative well, too. Happy travelling, Cheryl. : )


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