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Posts tagged ‘back-story’

Edit diary – Book Two

Days 2-9 (May 16-23)

Cold mornings and nights for us, but sunny warmish days. Beautiful Queensland weather.

Introducing Book Two: I’ve found a working title – Present hope. Part One commences with Freya arriving in Australia with her new husband Reg Prentiss. Uneasy with the materialistic orientation of his family and becoming embroiled in her sister’s emotional issues, Freya’s long-time strategy of workaholism helps to divert her energies. When her Gramma’s health deterioration becomes evident after the death of her steadying friend Mrs Atkinson, Freya’s disquiet about her tense relationship with Gramma surfaces again and a visit to her on the Sunshine Coast revives unsettling memories of Alexander, her first love; memories she’d vowed to subdue for always.

Editing: Progress is patchy after a flying start. Chapters one to five needed only minor tweaks to connect with essential background from Book One, following the separation of the large volume into three parts. Other changes to that stage were also relatively minor. It felt like the groundwork was being well laid for the rest of this book and the third one also.

Feeling a false sense of security I took more time out than usual over a few days for social activities and general reading and a bit of unaccustomed TV watching. And I had a lingering three-day migraine that left me a bit woolly-headed. That is another tale – I discovered I’d been inadvertently eating nitrite containing food.

Manuscript in transition

Reaching chapter Six changed my perception about minor tweaks. The question became, how to include reference to issues from Book One (Past Imperfect which I’m thinking of e-publishing, unless I can find another publisher) to recreate the context without too much repeat of the circumstances? A real challenge! And another unexpected hurdle to keep in mind right through the rest of the editing – a need to monitor the impact of date changes I had made in Book One. I’m hoping I’ll recognise the earliest point where the need for such changes ends. Could work that way as there are substantial gaps of of time between some parts of the narrative.

That awareness took me back to Chapter One – major anomaly noted – just for timing. So I’ll have to revisit the first five chapters with a different mind-set; to maintain a credible forward timeline. And a very clear perception that the characters will need to be rounded out more in subsequent chapters for a stand-alone situation – can’t rely on back-story from Past Imperfect for any reader who taps into the second book first.

Still feeling a bit challenged with Chapter Six I decided to move on to Chapter Seven and back-track when I was feeling clearer of mind, only to discover the same issues there. I remember, years ago, inadvertently reading books out of order in a series by Jessica Stirling, about a family of sisters, and being intrigued by the passing back-story references. Because I was interested enough in the saga I tracked down the earlier books to fill the gaps. Maybe I’ll take a look at them again to refresh on how she managed that so skilfully.

Reading: Most recent book of note was another by Anne Patchett – Run. A wonderfully complex story with interesting conflicted characters who will stay awhile in consciousness. What a talented writer.

Anthology: Have also worked each day for a short time on our Writer’s Group Anthology. Interesting. All of us are learning new things all the time about format requirements etc. Will be helpful when I am ready to e-publish for myself. We’re still working on matters of including consistency with photographs and producing a book cover even though a friend provided a wonderful photograph to use.

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