I’m finally at the point where I can write those magical words, ‘THE END,’ and mean it, for now at least. I have to be honest, after writing the story and then going through it twice again, all in the space of a month has turned my brain to mush! As I’m reading it through, I can’t be sure if I’m recognising text because it’s repeated or simply because I’ve read it for the nth time.
That’s not to say that the last run through hasn’t been useful. One amendment that did make me smile was a character name I’d used. Elle’s parents are called Ann and Harry but for some reason I’d been calling Elle’s mum Pat in sections of the first draft, so in the second draft I corrected the references and thought no more about it. It was only in the third draft that I realised I’d also given her parents the surname Summers…yes, Elle’s mum is none other than the famous purveyor of lingerie and ‘toys.’ So it was goodbye Ann Summers and hello Anne O’Brien!
So at the end of it all I’ve produced a short story with a word count of just over 22k and rather than the eight sections I’d started with, I now have 12 chapters. My last job was a quick spell check which is good for picking up the obvious spelling errors and grammatical gaffs but some of the suggested corrections from Microsoft leave me scratching my head. No, Mr Gates, I don’t want to change ‘worse for wear,’ for ‘worse for wears,’ and I’m getting a little fed up of seeing ‘fragment (consider revising)’ on nearly every piece of dialogue; and don’t get me started on how many semicolons you want to put into the manuscript! I’m by no means an expert on grammar (I’m sure someone’s already picking out errors as they read this!!) but as long as I’ve picked out the obvious and it doesn’t distract the reader (i.e. my agent and my editor) then it’s good enough for now. There are many, many blessings in having a publishing contract and one of them is the amazing support from a team of people including expert copywriters who will go through it with a fine tooth comb later on.
Speaking of my agent and my editor, that’s where the story is heading next. Once I’ve emailed it to Luigi and Kim then I really will be stepping away from the computer because I won’t touch it again until their comments have come back. OK, that’s not quite true. I won’t touch the manuscript but there’s so much else to do on my computer. I think I have a summer of writing Book 4 to look forward to so it’s goodbye Elle and hello Jo.