Last night, I slept better than I have for several months. That’s because I finished the re-writes and edits for COLD FEET FEVER, at least for now. The manuscript is at the print shop in preparation for mailing to the editor.
Celebrations are underway. Tonight we dine at one of my favorite Ottawa restaurants, Alium.
Here are some of the things I completed over the last couple of months:
Executed re-writes (2) of the first three chapters and a total re-work of the final third of the book, heightened external conflict, heightened internal conflict, added setting details, ensured characters were engaged in an activity (no ‘talking heads’), ensured character growth and change (character arc), gave characters mannerisms, ramped up protagonists’ heroic qualities, used all five senses, described characters’ clothing / non-clothing / appearance, ensured consistency of POV (point of view), sharpened end-of-chapter hooks, added sentence variety, converted negatives to positives, removed (many) adjectives and (most) adverbs, tightened prose, removed weasel-words including qualifiers, and many, many more.
Here is an excerpt from the first time the hero (Sam) meets the heroine (Katie)
Everything about the woman was restrained and tidy. Sam was unable to tell if the glossy black hair was curly or straight because she’d scraped everything into some sort of sleek twist. She wore a plain white blouse buttoned up to the chin and a black business suit that would be right at home in a funeral parlor.
His financial woes forgotten, washed away by a wave of amusement, he decided to have some fun. This wisp of a woman, prim, bossy, and more than a tad uptight, needed his help to loosen up.
For starters, he slouched away, concentrating on moving slower than a sloth on Valium. Out of the corner of his eye, he noted her impatient foot tapping. Yeah, he was getting under her skin.
“Let’s sit down and chat, shall we?” she suggested in a tight voice.
He conjured up a pained grimace followed by a hard-done-by sigh, which, given the severity of his hangover, was easy. His mouth felt as though he’d spent the better part of the night licking a shag carpet. “Be right with you,” he mumbled, sensing her suppressed tension.
Inching along, he ambled over to the filing cabinet to retrieve the pizza box and coffee. Next, he shuffled over to his desk and deposited everything there. With great ceremony, he cracked open the box ever so slowly.
“May I help you with the pizza?” she asked, desperation crackling in her voice.
“No thanks. I’m good.” He inspected the pizza, turning the box this way and that, examining the contents from every angle.
When he figured his visitor was ready to explode, he eyeballed her, letting vague surprise cloud his eyes, as if he’d forgotten her presence. “Pizza?” he offered. “Best thing in the world for hangovers. It’s a Meat-Lover’s Special, extra sausage, extra bacon, extra meatballs, double cheese.”
“No, but thank you,” she informed him. “I try to avoid animal fat whenever possible. Do you have any idea what it does to the arteries? According to last month’s Healthier You, cholesterol plaque builds up and sooner or later—” She broke off with a grimace. “Forget it. Eat whatever you want.”
For those of you who are interested, COLD FEET FEVER is a spin-off from FUR BALL FEVER featuring the hero’s bad-boy but charming womanizer of a brother, Sam Jackson.
You can find FUR BALL FEVER at:
Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/QqYdOC
Amazon (Canada): http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005LIALVE
Amazon (Australia): http://bit.ly/1w0obeT
Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/1bBgC4x
Universal Link (all countries): http://amzn.to/150fiHb