I am in the process of editing my next novel, called Earthquake; I just have a summing up sort of chapter to do, the cover, all the bits and pieces, and then I will send it to my proof-reader (my husband) then edit it myself again… and then… and then it might be ready, ready to swim out into the world!
It’s difficult to be objective about something you’ve been writing for so long, and thinking about it, and dreaming about it for even longer! I have different ways of checking and rechecking – and with this book in particular it is really complex, an abandoned child, a ghost story, and maybe a murder with twelve suspects (yes twelve, I must be mad!) I have finished the main body of the novel – just the last chapter when all is explained and all the loose ends tied up.
I have read it through once, and then I have read it through again – out loud! Yes, I sit here in my work room and read the whole story out loud, not murmuring but aloud as if I was reading to an audience. It is a really good way to spot errors and inconsistencies, boring and waffly bits, nonsense bits, and just plain silly or pretentious bits. This story is told in the first person so it is also a good way of making sure the ‘voice’ is consistent too.
My husband is working downstairs, and all he can here is a mumble from me up here. Well, the mumbling has stopped! Now back to work correcting all the things I noted were wrong as I was reading. Simple spellings or errors I correct as I go, but where there are major mistakes, I just jot them down and come back to them so as not to break the flow.
Mumbling over, now back to work!