Wednesday 31 March 2021

Progress report

 Update on The Villa in Portofino  - Book Three in the Riviera Series

It's made progress from something that looks like this 

to a typescript. Theoretically this is the second draft stage. Mostly it's just that I have got the words into type. 

Now the tricky stuff starts. This is the bit where all the proof reading, fact checking, and re-organising occurs. As I write long, it has to come down by a few thousand words. All the bits and bobs have to be put together, so that names and descriptions match. Yesterday I spent the afternoon sorting out a family tree - I have a Welsh family over four generations so I had to check when everyone was born and died and where they overlapped, and also fit them into a time scale for another family in Italy who also overlap at crucial points. It's done, and I am pleased with it , but even so there is still the nagging fear that I've got it wrong somewhere and someone is 120 years old!! I've trawled for Italian names and slotted those in where the draft helpfully said 'X'.  I've just checked on Italian Prisoners of War in Wales, to make sure those dates are right and I still have to check my thesis notes to confirm when there were POW's working in the cemetery in Cardiff. All the POW stuff is the story before the story, but I still need to make sure that it is right. As I go through cutting and editing I'll be making a list of all the other things that need fact checking, and a final time line to make sure that holds up to scrutiny. (Editors have eyes like eagles over stuff like that!)  I've shifted the timescale of the book significantly from what it was when I started writing, to make it fit with the growing season in the garden that is a major factor in the action. I'll be looking at that too - I have lots of magazine cuttings about growing roses to sort thorough. 

Bet you never think about all that backroom work when you're reading. Necessary scaffolding for the story. Writing the book is the easy part!

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