Tuesday, February 27, 2007

CONF 319: MORE OF THE SAME

Another grey, miserable day. I have sent another reminder to the freelance agent. If nothing comes in by the end of this week I will have to dig out my O level certificates from the garage of my parents' house, demolished about 25 years ago, and start looking for work again. That leaves me this week for a couple of coffee meet-ups with old friends and final, final re-editing of novel 4.

Yesterday I started my re-edit at chapter 42. The first and last chapters are the most important to get right. After hauling the reader in, you've got to try and leave them with all those feelings of satisfaction of a book well read; that they loved the story and the characters so much they want to go back to the beginning and start it all over again. I've also just read in my Writer's Little Helper that agents & editors will often check that chapter out after C1, which would make a lot of sense. Maybe it's just because I haven't done a how-to book for so long, but each one seems to throw up more ideas and this one is full of techniques I've never come across before. Does anybody else use the Flesch Reading Ease tool in Word grammar for pacing? It recommends you split each scene into beg, middle and end. Then put each through the tool to find out its pacing. Then you can see if it's flat, or fizzles off to nothing, and adjust. Then you can do it with whole chapters for the entire story to make sure there are ups and downs and all. I've never paid any attention to the grammar tool, thanks all the same. But am amazed to discover it also winkles out the passive voice for you as well. How does it DO that?

Ooh, Zokutu wordcounter is back. Good... filling it up the joy of my morning.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.

3 comments:

Julia Buckley said...

Gosh, looks a bit complicated to me...

Amanda Mann said...

Noo, the computer does it all. You go to Word preferences. Check spelling and grammar. Then check show readability statistics. Then put your section of text through the Tools spelling and grammar check and it will give you the score at the end. Over 70s OK. 80 or higher v good. The aim is to get variation in pace. Like I got 71, 77, 78 for my 3 sections of C1. But they say 78, 77, 71 wouldn't have been so good. Is it worth the faff? I have not a clue in the world, but an interesting diversion into depths of computer I didn't know existed.

Anne Brooke said...

Oh Lordy, Amanda, you've mentioned numbers - I'm going to have to lie down for half an hour and hyperventilate now ...

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A
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