At the halfway point

It’s been exactly a month since my last blog post, and I’m almost exactly halfway through editing my second manuscript. I’ll keep this brief, as I mustn’t procrastinate too long from actually doing it (yeah right).

It’s been a bit of a hard slog at times, but overall I’ve been enjoying the process. Some pages have been a lot like pulling teeth. I keep using the same bloody phrases and words over and over again, and I can’t for the life of me think of different ways of saying it. I’ve even used a – *gasp* – thesaurus once or twice (or 500 times). There are whole weeks when it feels like I’ve had a wit-ectomy and everything comes out sounding flat and lifeless.

But then there are big sections – chapters even – where the writing is taut and snappy, and it just works. These bits allow me to think, just for a second, that perhaps it might actually be publishable. Once I’ve fixed up aforementioned hopeless bits.

My writing friend, Sam, has been going through it with a fine-toothed comb as I finish each chapter, and she’s not letting me get away with anything. She’s pulling me up on sentences that I just couldn’t get right and allowed myself to conveniently forget about. She’s ruthlessly culling my excessive adverbs (every time I comment about my excessive use of adverbs, I always seem to include an adverb in that sentence – you see, I have a problem). She’s telling me all the things I need to hear, whether I want to hear them or not. Sometimes I feel like bitch-slapping her for it*, but it’s all invaluable feedback that will force me to make it better. And no doubt she feels like bitch-slapping me every time I send one of her chapters back.

So I’ll keep pushing on through the wooden sentences and repetitive phrases and slowly perfect it to a level where it might actually be ready to submit. And I haven’t gotten over my addiction. I still have an obsessive compulsive need to do something on it each day, even if it’s just reading through what I edited the day before.

*I was kidding about the bitch-slapping. Sort of. 😉

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About Rebecca Freeborn

Writer, reader, horse rider, unapologetic grammar nazi, wine drinker. View all posts by Rebecca Freeborn

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