Monday, March 21, 2011

Into the Home Stretch

I'm in the home stretch now, reading the manuscript from the computer screen, chapter by chapter, aloud, so that I can "hear the story." Above all, I want to make my version of Mary Pickford's biography more than a collection of facts.

As I read, I search out typos, move paragraphs to improve the flow, and delete unnecessary words. You know the gremlins -- adverbs and cliches.

The books bibliography is finish, the illustrations chosen, the index entries ready, but I've been having trouble getting the chronology into two columns. The dates for "Mary and Her Times" have to align with the dates of events in "Canada and the World," including the world of film-making.

I was fortunate on the weekend when I asked for suggestions from my writers' group that one of them, Helen, not only emailed me a table I can use, but also provided me with instructions for how to add to it.

Before this, I was entering information into both columns, only to have it move to the next page and into the wrong column. I was getting nowhere, and the deadline for submitting everything to the publisher was closing in.

That's the thing about writers' groups. Someone is sure to be able to help you out, but better yet, will be willing to share her knowledge. No one is holding his trade secrets close to his chest.

Write on!


2 comments:

Marie said...

Sounds as if you are going to be onto another "winner" with your latest offering. My, Peggy you are so talented and nice also.
Best
Marie

Peggy Dymond Leavey said...

Thank you; you're very sweet. This book is very different from my usual work. I'm hoping it will be well received.