But now I am on page 221. Which means the end is near, and I'm kind of dreading being done. I feel like I've gotten to know my editor in a whole new way by pouring over her suggestions. I laugh a little at some of her funny comments and am truly touched by others. Last night, when I was working on a very difficult section (one that makes me cry every time I read it), I felt like she was right there, holding my hand as I crafted the words of that scene to make it even stronger. And as I near then end, it feels like we are really in this together (even though we've never really met and only talked by phone or e-mail.) She is closer to Writing Shelley than anyone in the world right now.
And I will miss the feeling.
The process has helped me recognize few of my writing demons:
1. I have consistency issues (as in I forget where my characters put stuff, or where they are standing, etc.) which means I sometimes contradict myself. Relatively easy to clean up, but I am more aware of my tendency to do it now.
2. I play fast and loose with commas sometimes. I tend to hear the tale being told in my head, and imagine the pause in breath a storyteller might make, and stick a comma in there (whether or not it is the right place.) Other times, I imagine the internal teller talking quickly, and totally leave commas by the wayside. I used to be dang good at comma-fying, but now....not so much.
3. I tend to make up words (ie: comma-fying).
4. I get stuck on words. It's like I'll use a word and then need to use it again and canNOT think of a good synonym that sounds right. So, I'm stuck with five he lookeds on the page. Not good.
5. I have the worst keyboard in the world. (Since the crash of October, the cursor jumps around of its own free will, adding words in the middle of sentences that make no sense.) I would not wish the possessed cursor on anyone.
These are all such helpful things to know about my writing self, especially when I go to revise the next book. I have internalized a little bit of Beth's (my editor) eye. I can recognize what is going to bug her and can hopefully tweak it before it even goes to her.
More March News:
This Friday, I will be at the San Diego County Office of Education for their annual Author's Fair.
The first batch of corned-beef and the first loaf of soda bread have already been made and consumed. More on the way! (But no cabbage. Yuck.)