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, feminist, horse rider, shameless word nerd, wine lover. Swears frequently. Debut novel Hot Pursuit out with Pantera Press in May 2018. View all posts by Rebecca Freeborn

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