I thought everything was ready to go off to the agents, then, I read Author! Author! my new favourite blog on writing at annemini.com. This is a great site that deals with some of the finer points of writing. Two articles in particular had me reaching for the editing program.
The first was about using the words ‘and’, ‘then’ and ‘It’ too often in passages. I was fairly confident my writing would not suffer from this issue, but I though I would just check so I dutifully fed the words into the editing software and had it highlight every usage. Generally my writing is free of this problem, but every now and then a cluster of these words showed up, and the first clump was right there in the very first paragraph of the first chapter – I re-wrote it immediately.
The second article dealt with the issue of passive protagonists – protagonists who observe and think rather than actively taking part in scenes. The upshot is I re-wrote the first scene all over again.
The sample chapters are now ready for the agents again and will be going out this week, so fingers crossed.
While we are on the subject of websites, my other favourite at the moment is Jacketflap: it is a children’s literary site, but the main interest for me is that it allows me to pull together all the blogs I regularly read into a single page. Just what I need, particularly as the IT boffins at work have a new piece of software which searches out commonly viewed social networking sites and progressively blocks access. I used to be able to update my own blog from work and leave comments on others, but now I’m just a passive participant.