I haven’t had much time to add new posts here on this site for some time. I am in a frantic rush to finish my novel for children in the next few days. Then I will be submitting it as my thesis paper for my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.
I’m currently working on the 9th draft and essentially all I am doing is proofreading. I’m checking that my last rewrite – from third to first person – scraped through with no glaring errors, especially with the changes to the pronouns used. I’m finding a few but not as many as I thought I would.
One of the amazing things about this draft is the errors I’m still finding, mainly missing words. Although this is officially the 9th draft, in reality it is probably the 15th time I’ve been through the manuscript – some sections could well be more. And I’m still finding little errors!
Who’d be a writer?
Over recent weeks I have been rewriting my novel for children.
It is now in its 8th draft in which I changed from the third person to the first person. So far, so good. I think it has been worth the effort. While I was at it, I made some significant changes to many phrases and sentences, including cutting out whole paragraphs – but also adding quite a few words and phrases here and there. The nett result is an increase of about 500 words over the whole manuscript while at the same time cutting at least a thousand words.
Now this week I am going over the whole manuscript again – this time meticulously. I’m looking for typos, spelling errors, punctuation mistakes, redundancies, and especially the misuse of pronouns, a problem which occurs when one changes point of view. All this editing and checking is wearying but essential.
It is essential because I want this book to be the very best I can do.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia has announced the winners of this year’s Book of the Year awards.
For the full list of both the winning books and the honour books click here.
Permit me a few moments of dreaming: I hope one day my name will be listed in these awards.
Okay – dream over – back to editing my novel so that someday I can be in the running.
My supervising lecturer recently gave me this book to read. She thought it could be of some use in the writing of my children’s novel which is also set in Nepal. Himalayan Adventures written by Penny Reeve is a charming little book (of only 96 pages) which deals with various aspects of life in Nepal. Each chapter is a self contained story about an animal, bird or some commonplace aspect of village life. There is little connection between each chapter.
The stories are short and written in a narrative style with minimal dialogue. Each is an object lesson in living the Christian life as seen by the author who served as a health professional with a mission organisation in Nepal. While each story is charming in its own way, I would like to have seen some connection between each chapter, such as the same children appearing in each story. This would have allowed more use of dialogue which would also have improved the book.
This book has not been of much value in writing my own children’s book about Nepal because it is so different from what I am trying to do with my story.
- Reeve, Penny 2005, Himalayan Adventures, Christian Focus Publications, Ross-shire, Great Britain.