Monday 16 June 2014

I'm Done! I'm Done! I'm Done!

At 5:06 pm today I pressed the SEND button on my computer.  My manuscript is complete!!!  But that was only after I checked off my edit "to do" list.  Firstly, I found four people to proofread the manuscript, two authors and two family members.  Then I went into editing overdrive.  I crossed every t, I dotted every i.  I corrected every type o.  I cut big paragraphs into two or three little ones.  I added a couple of chapters.  I took a chapter away.  I added British accents.  I took British accents away.  I changed a chapter title.  I shared more of the protagonist's thoughts.  I took away any thoughts coming from characters other than the protagonist.  I added more setting.  I checked and double-checked historical facts.  I looked up definitions of words like "plimsolle" (a canvas shoe with a rubber sole) and "humbug" (a type of hard candy with stripes). I eliminated words that did not fit into the late Victorian/early Edwardian period.

I gave myself a Canadian geography lesson circa 1903 and found out that "Ungava" and "Keewatin" were territories.  I discovered that telephone operators had stressful jobs:  their job description included everything from connecting a long distance call to giving out weather reports and election results.  I learned that the British term Cockney, referring to a Londoner living within hearing distance of the Bow Bells, comes from the words "cock" and "neigh", the latter being the sound that it makes.  I discovered that my great-great grandparents' street in Bracebridge, was named after a Temperance preaching newspaper owner named Thomas McMurray.  I learned that people didn't have curling irons back in 1949; they used curlers or rags instead. What an amazing experience it has been!  I'd like to do it all over again!

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