Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Step Two: The Add Ins

The next part of the revision process for me what identifying what parts of my story worked and what didn't. I needed to either rewrite entire chapters, or add in events around them to make them better. As most of you know, this is my third revision of this story and for that reason, this time around it was a little easier to do that. In total I have added three new chapters, one at the very beginning and two at the very end, as well as reworking the final chapter. With the ending as it was (and possibly as it is, it remains to be seen) I was in danger of working very close to the line of cliched romance. Not something I ideally want!

I was also going to put in another scene when Winston is at the Prisoner of War camp, in which he has numerous nightmares at home. I don't think I will be doing this, as in the scenes I already have there, I could possibly work in a nightmare to replace some dead weight.

But also I am assured that I have done enough in that regard (and I am eternally indebted to M.G. for his help over the last year and a half. I could not have done it without him.)

The next step I will be working on is the painstaking chapter by chapter revision process. Luckily, I was impatient during the last step and some of that is already done. YAY.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Step One: The Read Through

It had been fourteen or so long weeks since I had read The Compound. Oh sure, occassionally I had thought about reading it and a couple of times I even picked it up and flicked through the pages. But I didn't commit.

So anyway, in those fourteen weeks, I kept busy. I did a really great unit run by Christine Owen at the University and I worked on getting to be a better writer. The Compound, while at the back of my mind, was not a factor in these fourteen weeks.

I think it has taken me about a week to get through The Compound. It has been a strange time. I look back at my recent-past self and I wonder what possessed her to use so many adverbs and dump so much information. I wonder why she has been telling and not showing. It is because I picked up on these things that I know I have grown.

Of course, I was really itching to get back into it. So what started out as a read through actually became hybridized with the next step, which is structural editing, and there was probably a bit of copy editing in there as well. (Note to self, find a firm definition of what copy editing actually is-- important for future editor such as yourself.)

Anyway today I finished my read through and I know that while I can do better, what I have been doing since April 25 2008 is a worthwhile use of my time. I know that I can get to where I want to go. I also know I am not Kate Morton (who I aspire to be these days).

I am staying positive and nose to the grindstone for this edit. I will update again once I reach the ready for copy editing stage, whatever that may be.

Signing off.

Monday, 7 December 2009

To Forgive is Divine...

Once I saw somebody I thought I knew,
A woman; she looked just like you.
But nicer.

The last time we met, we fought, and I left, and I spent the next five years hating you.
It took a lot of me.
You have a lot of me.

But this woman was you and wasn't all at once.
I wanted to snap her neck.
I wanted to bury my face in it.
I wanted to be the me I was before I knew you.

And I want spend the next five years fighting with you but I won't be able to hate you.
I will be too busy hating myself.
And trying to steal back the pieces you stole.

I've been rewriting my novel and I guess this poem is from Winston's point of view. It's what he'll be thinking when he meets Sarah for the first time after being in the Prisoner of War camp for so long. I want to build up to him being damaged and a different person more than I did the last time around because I didn't know how I wanted it to end until I wrote the last draft and now I do, so I have to make it fit. I just hope I can pull it off.

By the way, apologies for the lame free verse poetry.