Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Last Stages

Right now, I'm printing up the Final Version of THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT. Oh, joy, oh, rapture!

Yesterday, I was going through the Final Stages, and some things never change.

I always reach a point, right near the end, where it suddenly occurs to me that my editor might hate the book. Not elements of the book, or some scenes of the book, the entire book. I try not to dwell on that one.

I always find that spell check, while a wonder, can only do so much. In this particular book, I have these big, hulking evil mercenaries who arrive at one part. I meant to say several of them are "scarred." What I had was, "scared," which immediately gave me a vision of these huge, tough guys suddenly shrieking like little girls and dancing around exclaiming, "Oh, I'm scared! I so scared!"

And then there's grammar check. Ugh. It doesn't take voice into account, which means I do a lot of "ignoring." There was one part, though, that had me scratching my head. Referring to some furnishings, I had written, "They were nothing like those used by the steward." Grammar check turned that into, "The steward nothing like those used them." HUH?

One scene was apparently being enacted by bobble-head dolls. He nodded, she nodded, they nodded. Ooops.

Likewise, I realized that throughout this book, there was a whole lotta knowin' goin' on. He knew, she knew, everybody knew. I took several of those out.

I found a few places for "bonus bits," little additional details or dialogue. Since I'd decided to cut a little love scenette that, while charming, didn't fit, this was good. I actually added five pages to the final count.

I had set myself a goal for this book, as I do for every one. I tend to write dialogue-heavy books, so I wanted to add more activity. I think I accomplished that. I'm also still trying to find the balance between describing the characters' emotions, either by dialogue, action, or narrative, and leaving it up to the reader to figure it out, since I think that adds to their involvement in the story. The jury's still out on that one.

But all in all, I'm pleased. Or to paraphrase Mary from The Amazing Race, "I like it!"

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