I’ve been working hard on a new project over the last couple of months – typical that the muse mugged me and demanded my attention around the start of a new term when I would be at my busiest welcoming in the new students. But you can’t ignore the muse when she comes calling. Novel V was finished at the weekend. It’s a short novel in the style of H P Lovecraft. I’ve spent the last few days going through the manuscript, looking for places where I’ve said exactly the same phrase twice, and removing extraneous words that would make the writing seem flabby. Some of them are adverbs, and others are phrases such as “could see, could feel” which can be tightened. I have a list of things to look out for – and it gets longer the more I write. I’ve done a search for the word “look” – my characters seemed to do a lot of looking at each other. They also seemed to shrug a lot. (I’ve got out of the habit of having my characters shrug when they need something to do. There were only three occasions the word “shrug” was used in Novel V, but two of them were on the same page.) It’s astonishing (to me, at least) how many words I lose from the first draft simply by tightening up the writing.
So, it’s now with some readers, in the hopes that they “get” the homage that I’ve paid to HP Lovecraft.