This week, I have achieved what I set out to do: I finished the first draft of my short story! Those last few pages went by so quickly but that might have just been the sheer enjoyment of using my typewriter over actually writing fast, who knows? That little stack of typed pages with the tiny punctures from the viscous full stop sat proudly on my desk for the whole of one evening until I had it in my hands and jammed it through the scanner onto my laptop. I had to settle for a free, somewhat temperamental OCR program which didn’t scan quite as accurately as would have hoped but saved me time in the long run instead of copying out the manuscript word by word.
It was then out with the red pen and metaphorical scissors for the long awaited editing. Those pages are now covered with scribbles, spelling corrections, rephrased sentences, suggestions for alternative words and phrases to check for repetition. I was surprised to find very little adverbs as it happened but I did remove a lot of “that”s (which I suggest you do too: you’ll be surprised at how unnecessary they often are and how much they disturb the flow of your prose) which found there way in.
Once I had finished with the corrections and ticked said corrections off (admittedly, very satisfying), I slung it into Grammarly for one final check and read through. It’s now been given to my first trusted guinea pig for a test read so hopefully they’ll come back with some improvements for me to make before I send it off to my second guinea pig.
I’ve also settled for a pen name!
So the last two or three weeks have been packed! I’ve finally got my Art A-level out the way for good having managed to bring all my work together onto mountboards as well as completing a fifteen-hour practical examination under the beady eyes of a somewhat pretentious examiner. Regardless of how it went, I have freed up quite a bit of time to focus on the other two subjects which is a huge weight off my chest. It’s also given me a little more free time in which to write – and that is exactly what I have been doing.
I’ve picked up my short story again from under all the other accumulating papers and bung it back into the typewriter; I’m now about three pages away from completion. I have to say that so far there hasn’t been a moment of writing this short story that I haven’t enjoyed and watching it come together is very exciting. I’ve reached the final scenes where a character’s madness is realised and the grizzly denouement is foreshadowed so I can’t wait to power on through and get to the end. Hopefully, I’ll finish it this weekend and get onto the revisions next week.
I’ve also started to put together my quotes bank for my English exams. This entails reading through all my books: The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, Christin Rossetti Poems, A Doll’s House and Twelfth Night and selecting the write quotes to learn to help me answer the questions as well as reading further articles by critics such as Dr Pamela Bickley to help give “alternative interpretations” in my answers. It’s all very long winded but I’m getting there.
And finally, I’ve started to book hostels and trains for my month travelling around Europe. So far I’ve reserved seats on the Eurostar and booked hostels in Amsterdam and Berlin. Next is Poland and then Prague. I’m thinking of getting a lovely old film camera for taking photos – what can I say? I’m a romantic at heart, hence the typewriters. Any suggestions on cameras?