Not what I’d expected

It’s a couple of months now since I finished what I’d expected to be the final proof-read of my first novel – ‘Persephone and the Photographer’. I had expected that the ‘simple’ revisions I mentioned yesterday would take time to do. What I hadn’t expected were the plethora of punctuation and style errors still remaining. A lot of my dialogue now looks stilted. My revision will take longer than expected.

I suppose that’s a by-product of having written three more books in the interim. I suppose that I’ve been learning from writing more, but also I’m finding that I’m learning more about how to write when I now read other people’s books and blogs.

I’m about a third of the way into my draft revision and my ideas about what I want to do are changing, even as I write. I wonder if that’s the experience of fellow bloggers.

I think that I’m managing to convey Adam as a bit less of ‘wuss’ than he was first time round. I’ve had a change of mind about erasing Chester as a place name by describing it merely as a city. I’m also cringing about translating Crib Goch as The Red Ridge. I’ll soon be arriving at the first journey that Adam and Poppy took together into Snowdonia. I’m still considering making that a Lake District visit – that’ll also be a way to swerve using Welsh place names. Incidentally, I have nothing against the Welsh language – I spent several months trying to learn it and I think that it’s a lovely language, but I do know that a lot of English speaking people find it difficult to read – let alone pronounce.

One thing that I am happy about is losing ‘Effie’ by substituting ‘Poppy’. Choosing forenames for female heroine characters is proving a bit of a problem for me for some reason. One other thing that I need to look at is how far I can prune the amount of dialogue and trust readers to use their imaginations. I’m certainly hoping to maximise people’s imaginations with the more passionate scenes. Conveying ‘Fifty Shades’ type scenes is right outside my comfort zone.

Today, I’m posting my final fireworks photo from November 2018. Again the viewpoint is from near Birkenhead’s Woodside Ferry terminal, looking across the River Mersey towards Liverpool’s waterfront. I took the shot with my Pentax K3ii 24 MP cropped sensor camera mounted on a tripod. I used a 16-85 mm f.3.5-5.6 lens at 21 mm and f/11. My shutter speed was 2 secs and the ISO was 100. Tomorrow will be another photo taken in Liverpool itself during the River of Light Festival 2019.

Back to the drawing board

Yesterday, I said that I hadn’t made my mind up about which book to revise or re-write. I decided that it would need to be the Persephone story. It won’t need to be a root and branch revision, and while I’m working, there will be some time to think about how I’ll need to approach the New Tangled Tango storyline.

I’ve made a start. Persephone becomes Poppy; Chester becomes the city; the named council becomes simply the Council. Poppy and Adam no longer work in different Councils, but are now in different sections of the same council; the setting is Northern England rather than just the Wirral Peninsula and Snowdonia; At least one of the trips will be to the English Lake District; Welsh names of lakes and mountains become either anglicised or anonymous. Descriptions of photographic technique will be radically edited for simplification and to move the plot on.

Speaking of the plot, Adam will get a bit more spine – he was a bit of a ‘snowflake’. All that sounds like a couple of minutes work, but it will take several hours, if not days, to read the old file through – line-by-line, word-by-word – to ensure that my editing doesn’t introduce new problems.

So far I’m about a quarter way through.

As promised, today’s featured photograph is the first of two to show excerpts from the Liverpool River of Light fireworks display, 2018. The viewpoint is from near the Woodside ferry terminal, Birkenhead, looking across the River Mersey towards Liverpool waterfront.

I took the photo with my Pentax K3ii 24 MP cropped sensor camera tripod mounted and with an 18-65 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 21 mm and f/11. The shutter speed was 8/5 seconds and the ISO was 100.