Friday, January 23, 2009

Final Read and Final Changes

I don't usually take space in this blog to talk about personal affairs, but I did promise in my sub-header text that I was going to share everything with you as this novel heads towards completion, publication and it's eventual Nobel Prize :)

Anyways, I'm happy to report that this morning I put the finishing touches on the final read through (and there was much rejoicing!) After going through the Ten-Point Revision Strategy, incorporating the extra few points, I can honestly say that this is the tightest version of the novel yet. My final act, other than one last spell check, was to use the search command to help me incorporate my last revision point; eliminating "feeling" words.

Setting the search for "felt" 95 entries came up where I used the word felt. Such as "he felt his heart begin to race," etc. After re-reading each entry, there were times when I wanted to keep the "feeling" word, whether for cadence, pausing, or an intentional distancing of the character from the act, ie., when one of my character's is dying and he can feel his oxygen content dropping in his blood. But about half the time, I rewrote the sentence to remove the word. "She felt her anger rising," became "her anger surged," or such.

Tomorrow, I write the cover letter and the book goes off to my agent. On the off chance, she is no longer interested, hates it or puts out a contract on my head, I'm going to write a new query as well. I imagine then, my next few posts will be on query writing, which is always a fun and challenging thing to do.

Moving forward feels so good.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Congratulations on your progress! And thanks for the tip about editing "feeling" words. I hadn't seen that pointed out before as a specific strategy. It's practical and it works.

Todd D. Severin said...

Thank, Amy.

As I said, there are times when the feeling word does add to the sentence, but commonly, it distances the reader from the immediacy of what the character is feeling.

My philosophy is to cut, cut, cut. Make it tight.

Chris said...

Best of luck with your work! This is where I'm at too.

Todd D. Severin said...

Chris,

Good luck to you too!

I just finished my synopsis and it's ready to go out tomorrow! Maybe together we'll get this stuff done.