So, COOKING FOR THE DEAD (not sure we’ll keep that title, though I love it), the book I’ve been working on all winter, is in the final polishing stage. My editor had a few suggestions to brighten things here and there, and bring out two characters a little more. My own need was to let the manuscript become cold enough that I could spot those pesky repetitive words and images.
This is the fifth time through the entire manuscript, and the pickiest. I’m sitting down with the book every day for a few hours to read carefully, sometimes aloud, marking the manuscript as I go, and making notes on a legal pad about what is still required. I think I need to switch the order of a couple of scenes to give more sense of narrative drive. Pare down the narrative to a leaner point in a couple of other places. Backstory is very important to this tale, and figuring out how and where to layer that into the story without slowing it down is challenging. I always put in more than I need at first, then cut back.
Come to that, I don’t know why I write characters with such histories, either. Maybe we all have that much history?
Anyway, slow going. Careful, persnickety going a the moment. I did stumble over one lovely alliterative, internal rhyme in a paragraph that was sweet, and I’m keeping it. On the other hand, I’m slashing entire paragraphs in places. Smoothing, smoothing.
We have had a great time this year, Elena and I. This is like the last day of camp.