Lake Ladoga resonates deeply and fills her mind with visions of sweet smelling country air, scaled tree branches and the warmth of the fireplace touching the bare cold toes of four children, as they tell tales of monsters that lurk the countryside in search of innocent children.
How these stories, told by her brother, kept her awake through the night. Even though she had her two sisters lying beside her, she would wait in fear. For the arms of the monster to creep from below and wrap their long cagey fingers around her waist and snatch her from her warm cradle.
Today I attended a writer’s workshop at the local library. The meeting was led by Author Kathy Stewart from AUTHORS’ ALLY, http://www.authorsally.com/ Authors Ally is a editing, proofreading, and manuscript appraisal service. The workshop covered how to edit your manuscript, and offered valuable advice. I left the workshop equipped with more knowledge and couldn’t wait to get home and put the advice to the test on my own manuscript. So you have finished your first draft, and you are left with the question of what now? I don’t know about you, but I feel overwhelmed with the editing process. So I thought I’d share my notes with you all.
First of all once your first draft is finished, put it away for awhile, (a week if you can help yourself).
Read it out loud: this way you can get an idea of the flow of the story, try not to rush to fix mistakes, just read it first. Highlight areas you notice may need correcting, and once you have read it, go back and edit.
Draw up an outline, a timeline and maps. (Unless you do this beforehand.)
Who is the POV character in each scene?
Where is the scene set? Some scenes may be too similar or repetitive. For example the scene of a main character sitting and thinking might of been overused, try adding action or changing the setting.
What action takes place?
What conflict takes place? Is there conflict and tension? Keep up the suspense.
Does the scene advance or inhibit the protagonist’s ambition? (Main character, the hero)
Does the scene advance or inhibit the antagonist’s (opposing character) purpose?
Timelines are very important in keeping dates and times accurate and consistent throughout the novel.
There are a few methods to drawing up timelines-Dot form-this way you can easily slot in notes at different times. Or simply draw a line and add times to it or a calendar (You can find calendar’s of the dates in history online).
Draw up floor plans of houses, buildings, units.
Use actual maps: try Google maps. You can use real places with fictional names.
A great tip is to use places you know well, houses, units, buildings, etc.