December 17, 2010

Re-writes & Wrestling with commas

The novel-known-as-Ann has been revised/rewritten over and over. Most people reading it wouldn’t notice much of a difference between versions because the revisions are usually at the sentence level - this word here, that one there, out with that phrase - so the story itself hasn’t changed except in a few places and then not the major plot.

I’m trying for a tone, a point of view, a development in the character that is inherent in the story, not stated. Who knows whether I am succeeding, but I have certainly worked more on this novel than earlier ones. Part of the rewriting involves close attention to punctuation, including commas. (The New Zealand Style Book has a good section on commas.)

Whose hands? Not mine.
When my partner and first reader read my most recently published novel  we had some brisk conversations about commas. Since then, I’ve given commas more attention and now I use them more — and I hope more consistently — while not as much as she would (probably, how do you know what someone else would do?). I like dashes instead sometimes. 

(Last published  novel, Take It Easy, 2008. Email me at pat dot rosier at xtra dot co cot nz if you'd like a copy.)

Today, I am resolved to finish this rewrite of the final chapter, which involves adding a small amount of new material. So, onwards!

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