Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Draft Completed!!!

And now the hard part: revision. It's particularly tough to weed out one's own words, especially if you're "in love" with them. But out they must go because they can--and often do--  impede the flow of the story, even if otherwise lyrical.

I examine pace. This is a very suspenseful story--imagine being a rebel spy in love with the British officer she's spying on.  And THEN becoming privy to one of the biggest plots in American history: the defection of Benedict Arnold. On top of that, the heroine, Rebecca, lives in constant fear that, if discovered, she'll be caught and hung. Ironically, her lover, ( a historical figure) is Major John Andre, spymaster for the British! The suspense must be modulated; the reader can't be racing all the time, though of course he/she should be flipping the pages quickly. But there's a need for occasional "rest stops" along the way for everyone--the reader, the characters--to take a deep breath before the next crisis.

And then, of course, there's the language.  Without resorting to cliches, it's not so simple to describe a sunset or a tree or a person or an emotion. I'm constantly having to come up with unique descriptions--perceptions--of ordinary things.  So I'm working on the next draft and, after that,  likely several more.

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