The Fourth Draft

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Hello

I hope today finds you well. The weather outside my study window is gray and thundery-cloudy. We have had some warm weather recently, so the idea of a thunderstorm in mid-May, is not as strange as it might sound for this little part of the world.

It’s done…The Fourth Draft (I love that name) is done. Well, I should qualify that. It is written and now there will be an editing process which I will quite enjoy. It is through this draft that I can really read the story and it has taken me on a wonderful journey. Once this is complete there will be a little break and then I will return for the Fifth Draft.

Researching Dublin 1948-1954, has meant that I have scrolled through lots and lots of Irish newspapers – so many thanks to the National Library in Canberra and the Irish Newspaper Archive. I was searching for office equipment as I wanted to make sure that my fictional small office in Dublin was not over-equipped. I first set the office up with a ledger posting machine but on further checking, it seems unlikely that my little office would have had such a sturdy hard-working contraption.

Rather, it would have had a lovely adding machine, and human book-keepers, and there are several machines to choose from. As I have a book-keeping background (manual and automated) I have to say that while I love technology, and I really do, I did enjoy ‘doing the books’ with an adding machine myself. I had to learn to use the ledger machine and I hated it. It never balanced first time through without copious use of the ‘Suspension’ Account. Now it might have been that the old ledger-machine felt my discomfort. And of course, it was because my fingers weren’t pressing the right keys all of the time, but you have no idea how heaven-sent accounting software was when it first arrived…ahh…those heady days…

This has meant that the office no longer has a ledger posting machine but now has a lovely new adding machine.  Not a come down, but rather a relief for one of the main characters I imagine. But she’s yet to tell me in so many words.

So, here’s the thing for this week. Research is never done…and constantly checking my details so that I have confidence in the fiction I am writing, is a constant.

Have fun…and if you have had similar experiences with writing and research, or even book-keeping…let me know:)

Olga:)

The Fourth Draft

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Good afternoon,

Exciting news. I’ve finished draft three of my novel and moved straight into ‘The Fourth Draft’. However, I was a little concerned at the end of draft three, that I was losing touch with the individual character’s storyline.

So, I’ve taken a ‘novel’ approach to draft four. Instead of reading through consecutive chapters, I have grouped the chapters relating to each character together, and am plodding through it that way. No, I’m joking, not plodding, but re-writing the chapters.

I have found it an immensely rewarding process to look at the novel in this way as I made a couple of changes to the storyline and found a couple of errors. So, here’s the thing…I am better able to make sense of each character’s part in the whole story and can now ensure continuity. This is particularly important if I want to make any further changes to the storyline.

Now, I had better get back to work:):)

kind regards

Olga

The Joy of story

The week has been busy with work on the novel, an abstract, a conference paper and a blog. I have had lots of help with all. So, now, it’s getting late on Sunday afternoon, there’s a gale blowing, and I have time to write for this blog. Then, the roast goes on, the dog is taken for a walk and I am going to read more of Kate Riordan’s The Girl in the Photograph.

So, here’s the thing! I am in the process of re-writing version two of my novel and finally I think I have it worked out. No, not the novel, I know that story, the characters just tell me…type Olga…type…get it done. But two events are worth noting here: firstly,

  • I have found a way to invigorate chapter 15 through using diary extracts. One of the hard chores in writing is how to convey the necessary information without it being an info dump. In chapter fifteen, the character is looking back and her story is important to the overall narrative arc, so I thought “if I were away from home and wanted the time to rush from July to September but wanted to keep some of the memories in my mind, what would I do?” And then I answered myself…good thing isn’t it being able to talk to oneself, you can do it in a kindly way. Anyway the answer I gave myself was, “keep a diary of course!!!” So, chapter fifteen has been rewritten and I think it’s an improvement. But we’ll find out when we come to write version four.
  • Now, the second event is that I had to admit to myself that a couple of the characters are just a little too good, you know, feisty, law-abiding and kind to others, and never lie. Well I was rewriting chapter sixteen when I realised that one of the characters needed to tell a lie. No, I mean it. She needs to tell a lie. So, she will and I continue on with chapter sixteen tomorrow but the character is hovering over my shoulder and saying “you really should get that sentence written today…I don’t want you to get all fuddy-duddy and change your mind tomorrow!” So, I guess as soon as I finish this blog post I will open up the novel again and get at least one sentence done in chapter sixteen. I didn’t realise that the characters in a book could take on their own personalities and be as demanding as my family (at times) 🙂

So, till next time, take care of you!!!

Olga