Tuesday 30th March 2021
I put in a heavy days work today and got the manuscript done.
I went through all the plot points and as I thought, they were minor fixes that took a sentence or two to fix. It’s amazing just how much you can fix with just a few words in the right place.
With that done it was onto the spell and grammar check. I basically just use the one in-built into Microsoft Word . It’s not a particularly laborious job but it does take a bit of time, especially if you have fantasy names in your manuscript and forget to select Ignore All.
With that done, I was sure I was done and went about enjoying my evening with eyes that feel strained from all the work over the last couple of days. However, I thought back over it and felt I needed to make one final small change.
My biggest problem here seemed to be commas. I’m guilty of starting sentences with conjunctions to make the prose seem more chatty. I’ve accepted it as part of the style I write in. However, it sometimes goes overboard. In the case of this manuscript, it seems that I start A LOT of sentences with So and Well. And that meant that even after I felt I’d finished, I had a stupid amount of them still left.
So (see what I did there! Still have the habit) I went and did a search for them on an eradication exercise. Some need to stay but a lot were just fluff I could do without. It’s only stylistic or a character trait if you don’t do it to death. Given I was so ready to be done, my inner perfectionist proved useful to give me the determination to go back into the manuscript one last time.
It took me until the early hours to get both done, but I honestly think I’m completely done. As weird as it might sound to a non-writer, but getting to the stage where you’ve edited so much you feel like you never want to see the manuscript again, is usually a sign (at least it is to me) that I’ve done a good job.
I want to send this to my agent with a bunch of outlines but I still have work to do on those. Plus, I have some pitches I need to write for something else. So I might work on all those with a view to doing a big mail-out next week.
I’m glad to have this manuscript done, but part of me feels like I want a week off! Perhaps I’ll reward myself with one once I get the outlines and pitches done.
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