Saturday, August 22, 2009

Missing in Action

I know I have been gone without any explanation and I am sorry. In the end the simple tweaking of A Cornish House turned far more onerous than I had anticipated. The family were initially quite tolerant, but as my computer time didn't lessen but grew a revolt of major proportions began........ So I went onto radio silence and pushed through until the damned thing was posted to RNA New Writers' Scheme.

I have been made to swear that I will not leave next year's submission to the summer or they will collectively divorce me. They are right. It was completely unfair of me to make them sit around while the sun actually shone in Cornwall just because I had a deadline. I will not do that again. I will find a waterproof/ sandproof laptop! No seriously I did bring a hard copy to the beach, but then spent the next day inputting the changes......

In this whole process I did have a meaningful moment. As most of you know I am dyslexic so I really struggle to proof anything. Even if I read alloud I don't find mistakes because my mind fills in the blanks and rearranges things to suit. I didn't have time to send ACH to be proof read (again leaving things to the last minute) so thanks to the advice of BubbleCow I downloaded a free text to voice programme and listened to ACH being read by the worst voice in history BUT wow........using a different part of my brain I found mistake after mistake. It was brilliant. Where as I have no confidence in my writing from a grammar/ spelling point of view - I do have confidence in 'my ear'. I just wish I had this dreaded man years ago...

So from here on awful man will read my story to me and I will trust my instincts with his help. Having said that it took ages to go through the whole book. Some paragraphs took five reworkings until 'my ear' was happy. My fingers and my brain work at very different speeds and sometimes totally independently. What my brain thinks my fingers have typed many times bears no correlation........The ghastly man only reads what is on the page not what i think is on the page.

Having said all that, a day after the script was in the post I was updating my web page with the revised first chapter and found two glaring typos on the first page........lesson - I still need a proof reader!

Have you tried the text to voice software? Does it help you?