Tuesday December 1st – Day 27
Shock, horror! Found out this morning that the current restrictions end at midnight tonight, not midnight tomorrow. So, an uber-early start, a day with my backside glued to the chair and two thousand plus words to lose. Pleased to report, the words are lost and the work is complete: What You Don’t Know About Me is done and dusted, my nether regions have surrendered any feeling and my eyes resemble those of Kaa, the hypnotising snake from Disney’s 1967 version of Kipling’s Jungle Book.
I’m going to keep this short – unusual, I know – however, I’m a little weary and my brain hurts. This final editing has proved even more taxing than either the first or second edits, because I knew it would be my final opportunity to alter any or all of the narrative. Spelling, syntax, context, punctuation… it all ends this evening. No more here instead of hear, titled instead of tilted and no more indetity in place of identity. Please don’t ask me why, but these are just a few examples of my typing-dislexia. Then of course, there’s punctuation. Ten years ago, I attended a seminar on novel writing at the Wellcome Centre in London. Several tens of aspiring authors sat and listened to published authors, agents and publishers wax lyrically about the many pitfalls and minefields first-time authors are prone to ignore and therefore fall right into. It wasn’t the most exciting of days and, probably like most of the attendees, I came away thinking as if I would make those kind of dumb errors and promptly fell right up to my neck in them. One of the speakers, I wish I could remember her name, regaled us with a tale of how her husband was a director of a well-known publishing house, and how she had to put up with listening to countless dinner conversations about how he and his colleagues had had to wade through so many cover letters and synopses containing lousy punctuation. One evening, she told them to change the record or get a take-away. They, in turn, challenged her to write a novel without incorrect punctuation. She did, or so she thought until the manuscript was returned from proofreading. She lost the challenge having made one error; the omission of a rather crucial comma. “F**k Henry!” she had written, instead of “F**k, Henry!” I’ll leave that with you.
Last diary entry tomorrow: a little round up, a brief summary, an observation or two.
Ciao. Until tomorrow.