I finished the big rewrite of A CORNISH HOUSE and at the moment I'm still pretty happy with it - this of course will morph into it is total rubbish soon, but I will enjoy the 'it's okay' sensation while it lasts. When doing the sort of rewrite I have just completed, the focus was totally into the emotion and motivation and the plot ...so I didn't look at the small stuff, the niggly stuff which leaves me with a whole lot of cleaning to do....especially as I added nearly 15,000 words to the story.
So I have been cleaning and I thought I'd share with you what that has meant thus far. When I did the last rewrite I did an index card for each scene. On it I list the basics:
scene number (this is continuous through the book 1-115 in ACH's case)
Location or locations
Who is in the scene
Basic point of the scene
These cards have been handy for referring back to - for example I wanted to know when I introduced a character or another thread of the story.
First line of scene
Last line of scene
This is so I make sure that they all don't open with my heroine sitting drinking coffee or something etc (thank you Anita Burgh for this suggestion)
I am looking very closely at dialogue and dialogue tags...thank you to Nicola Morgan for her timely post on the subject here.
Also, now that the story is truly in place I reread a post by Cath Bore reporting on a workshop she attended with Joe Finder entitled A Sense of Suspense which is helping me makes sure that I keep the mystery going....
I am keeping a time line to make sure that it is chronological (as it is important to the story) and as I have chopped and changed things along the way I have found some real humdingers on the time front...
Finally I'm looking hard at each scene again and asking if it really needs to be there...now that the story is totally in place I feel I can be even harder on those scenes I quite liked but....
The last stage will be listening to the story again...my ears are better at spotting awkward phrases and missing words than my eyes will ever be...What do you do when you 'clean up' a manuscript?