For the last couple of weeks I’ve been wrestling with the advice I received at my writers’ workshop, especially in regard to pruning my manuscript of some of my more lavish linguistic flourishes.
The problem is that when I come across an offending word I just can’t find anything that fits as well or expresses quite what I wanted to say. There are so many nuances in words and I love them all. By the time I’d worked through my first five pages I’d come across incendiary, bastions, pantheon, conducive and pandemonium and couldn’t bring myself to delete any of them.
At the same time I’ve been reading my way through some of the recently published works in my genre by Australian women writers, endeavoring to discover the magic ingredients that make up a publishable book. A red hot seller at the moment is Sophie Green‘s The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle.
It was a pleasurable read but that’s not what made me leap from my chair and flourish the book around the room while hooting with glee. It was because the very day after the workshop I came across something rather remarkable. Sophie had deployed the word susurration. Not just susurrus, but susurration!!!
If it’s good enough for Sophie it’s good enough for me. I’m sorry Rachel and Dianne, but my susurrus is going straight back into the manuscript and it’s staying there, along with all the other mellifluous, delicious, exquisitely expressive words with which my manuscript is littered.
Several of my beta readers told me that they enjoyed my use of language and upon reflection I believe this is part of my distinctive voice. I don’t think that readers need to be patronised and fed words suitable for a reading ago of ten. I’m sticking to my guns. Well, at least until I get feedback from my manuscript assessment …
I’ve taken the plunge and sent off the submission – the first 4000 words of my book along with a synopsis and writer’s biography. My finger quailed over the send key for quite some time before I dispatched it on its way. This is the real deal. My baby is going to be scrutinised and assessed by someone who really knows the business and I’ll be quaking in my shoes until I hear her verdict.
Happily, over this October long weekend, I’ve had some high quality distraction in the form of a visit from one of HWB’s old school mates from Melbourne. Chris was great company and HWB and I love entertaining.
Best of all, Chris is an experienced boatie and he arrived just in time to guide us through the exciting process of launching our boat, Splashback. While we bought her before we headed to France there wasn’t time then to do the fine tuning to get her seaworthy, so this weekend was her maiden voyage.
It was a gorgeous day, and it was wonderful to get out on the waters of the magnificent Wagonga Inlet. Skipper HWB was a very happy camper.
On our cruise we came across two white-bellied sea eagles soaring above us, a seal waving a lazy fin in the shallows, and squadrons of pelicans cruising the shore. Chris affirmed what we already know – we live in paradise.
I’m looking forward to many future cruises and fun times, especially when we have our influx of summer visitors. As daylight savings has now officially commenced it’s not long before we’ll be getting in to swimming, sand and sun mode. Bring it on!