Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Missing Dogs & A To Do List

So I just handed in my fifth book in eleven months... Pooped, me... okay, maybe a little....

But I thought I'd just pop in here and share with you the little thing I learnt about editing and my to-do-list for the next couple of months in case it goes silent in here and you wonder what I'm at...

Now, I'm one of these people, that when writing, has the theory that even if I don't feel like writing I force myself to put words down. I'm of the 'can't edit a blank page' school of thought... and sometimes it is bad and has to go, but thankfully, most of the time, it's stuff I can work with. And when editing it, I nearly always find things Ito add in that crop up later in the book as the characters open up to me, or I find a thread I missed that I need to rectify before the end.

With The Love Letters manuscript... I had the amazing missing dogs...

They were there from the very first page. Two Springer Spaniels bounding out of the early morning mist at their master's heels... they played a very useful secondary role... And as I read through the book for the very last time it occurred to me. Where in hell did the dogs go?? Now, if any of my clever readers had pointed this out to me I guess I could have said 'Hey, they're Springers... they run off over open fields all the time...' But no. It became a source of much worry to me. I like dogs. I'd like to know where the dogs went... So I had to go back through the book and layer in... dogs...

Yep, not more emotional conflict... not more tying up of loose ends... not more character building or description or layering in of senses... I had to go through the whole book and find places where I could layer in...dogs...

And I think it was worth it. Not only have I now removed any potential future emails from dog lovers worldwide worried about their welfare... I also got to make them useful. I made them a subtle helping hand in my story. How did I do that? Ha! Not telling....

Funny the things that you catch when editing.

Now that the book is safely in my lovely Editors hands I have a few things to do...

1/ Clean entire house that has been ignored whilst writing book
2/ Do mountain of laundry that was ignored cos jammies were worn while writing most of book
3/ Pay attention to poor neglected horse that has put on more weight than me due to lack of exercise while writing this book (add diet to list here please...)
4/ Post all packages of competition prizes that have sat in corner while I kept myself locked in house to make deadline (sorry all comp winners!!!!!)
5/ Do copy edits for Breathless! - due last week some time
6/ Sort out books and entries for all competitions we are trying our hand at this year (and yes I do want to barf every time I think about *that*)
7/ Do all the blogs I should already have drafted for The Pink Heart Society - and yes, I'm the only one of the team of four NOT ahead on that one
8/ Go to London and do three confirmed lunch dates (one with lovely editor) and Publishers reception (meeting loads of author friends and having fun)
9/ Look after friends stables and teach people how *not* to fall off horses for a week while friend and family clear off to Dominican Republic (hate every one of them)
10/ Catch up on all the subscriptions and memberships I have due in...erm... ages ago...

Oh and there's a small matter of that new Modx that's due the second week of November...

We'll not go any further than the second week of Novemnber cos I could have died from exhaustion by then. And there's some kind of a holiday after that I'm sposed to prepare for. Mmm...

Anyone else want to come on a holiday with me to hide???

4 comments:

Nicola Marsh said...

Me! Me! Holiday sounds good!

allyblake said...

I like the sound of PJs all day!

Can't wait to see how the dogs save the day ;).

Ally

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Congrats on finishing your book Trish. How do you cope with knowing there's another one due just around the corner?!

Guess what secondary character hijacked his way into my wip yesterday - a black Labrador! And no matter how hard I try to turf him out it seems he's here to stay, so thanks for the timely reminder that if he stays I'd better make sure he doesn't disappear!

The holiday sounds great. Good to know someone's looking after you - you deserve it!

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

P.S. I've just posted a review to White Hot! on my blog...