The Next Loop
I told y’all I was going to keep you in the loop—how many times have I made such a promise then let my commitment fall by the wayside? I’m trying to have more stamina this time, so here goes.
The next step in revising: I’m about to embark on reading The Bone Trench out loud.
I’ve incorporated all the action points from my Reader’s Report-Working Copy into the manuscript. I’ve held in abeyance at the bottom of the Working Copy the big-ticket items I need to make sure to address. I’ve studied those items and lodged them in my brain so that, as I read, I’ll be aware of them.
Why read aloud? The reading aloud gives me a feel for micro-matters (the cadence) and macro-matters (the overall flow of the story). As I read, I’ll make on the Working Copy notations of the pages where major revisions were made. That way I can ensure chronology flows properly—that I didn’t make an astounding revelation . . . only to see where I made it again six pages later.
Reading aloud also helps me see/hear where things stick out like a sore thumb. Primarily this means clunky sentences where I’ve “conveyed needed information” instead of weaving the information into the voice of the character. I hate sore thumb passages; they make my skin crawl. (I, however, love mixed metaphors—sometimes you need more than one to properly make your point.)
Reading aloud also lets me know where I’m bored. And, Lord knows, if I can’t keep myself entertained, I don’t have a prayer with the reader.
I think this process will take about three days. Time me. We’ll see how I do. 🙂