writing a novel – taking a break from the draft
On Friday of this week, I begin a weekend Maritime Writer’s Workshop with the University of New Brunswick’s College of Extended Learning. I will work with a dozen other writers at revision of our written work under the leadership of Joan Clark. Joan is an award-winning novelist of both adult and children’s fiction, and I am anxious to find out what she thinks of my work.
I have chosen to submit ten pages of my novel ‘Saving the Landing Church’ to be examined during the weekend. I will get some good insight into how other writers respond to my writing. No doubt, I will also discover some aspects of my writing that need improvement. I hope the other writers will find my work interesting and help me discover some strengths as well as weaknesses.
I will also read and comment on the work of the other writers. This will help me to hone my own editing skills and discover more about what readers like in written work.
Once I have done the workshop and incorporated various comments into the draft, I will take a three-week break from my novel. I will put the current (third) draft away. During that time, I will not read the draft and I will try not to think about it. Then, after March 4, I will spend a couple of days reading a paper-printout of my novel. The theory is, it will be new to my brain after the break and I will see, with great clarity, what I certainly should have seen before.
I expect to find:
simple edits (Sadie takes a drive on the car, rather than in the car)
discontinuities in the action (Sadie goes for a hike a week after cracking her ribs)
slip-ups in characterization (Nicola suddenly has blue eyes instead of green)
cases of inverted time (July cames before June)
From these observations, I will make some changes and then will come a series of decisions about how to get my novel published.
Copyright Jane Tims 2013