Thursday, July 29, 2010

Progress at A Snail's Pace.

I have spent the past week revising a manuscript.

I read a blog about the importance of examining every sentence. Looking at the structure, word choice, impact, clarity and how each word and phrase progresses the story. It has been an enlightening excercise.

At the same time I've scrutinised each character's motivation, personality quirks and ensure they stay within their own character's profile.
It is so very easy to write a generic group of characters that have very little differentiation.

After so many years writing I found it sobering to recognise silly errors that marred otherwise crisp writing.
Repeated words. Using different words to convey the same  meaning. Such repetition  slows the pace and makes reading slow and tedious.

And the great thing about this slow methodical review is the crisp clarity and the definition of each character. Every piece of dialogue is scrutinised.  Each conversation has to move the plot, define the character, and create a believable and empathetic character.

The change is incredible but maybe, just maybe I'm a little biased.

No. I did the same for the book that finaled in the Clendon so perhaps I am finally learning the art of editing.

That blog has made me stop and really think about my craft and the prusuit of excellence is its own reward. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yee Ha!!!

I'm singing from the treetops today!

One of my manuscripts is a finalist in the prestigious Clendon Award! Yee Ha!!!

At the moment it is in New York....be still my trembling heart....with Mary Theresa Hussey Senior Executive editor of Harlequin Books. 

It has been so hard this past week having to keep this momentuous news under my hat ever since Barbara Clendon, of Barbara's Books who sponsor the award, rang me to tell me my book was winging it's way to America.

Equally pleasing was a second manuscript being Commended. Just to recieve a mention in this competition is an acheivement but by far the most value from this competition for me is reader feedback.

This competition is judged by a band of dedicated Romance readers and Barbara has commented that many of the readers would dearly love to buy the finalist manuscripts and keep them on their keeper shelf.

And that has to be the ultimate accolade for any writer.