ON COMPLETING THE FIRST DRAFT OF A NOVEL
Useful Things Learned While Editing a First Draft:
1. “Hunt and peck” typists get worse with age and arthritis.
2. If you change the name of a town, use “Search and Replace” not memory to find usage. Not doing so leads to much confusion.
3. Decide, once and for all, on the spelling of a character’s name.
4. Unnamed “Spear-carriers” deserve respect too. They shouldn’t begin a chapter as young females and end as old men.
5. The normal progression of the seasons is not from summer back to spring.
6. An awe-inspiring phrase inspires quite a different feeling the sixth and seventh time it’s used.
7. Buildings, walls, etc, referred to in one chapter, should not disappear from the next without the action of some disaster such as a tornado or a battering ram.
8. Characters should age one year for each twelve months that pass in the story.