by Anna Bell
Before I send my a WIP off to those in the industry – often the harshest of critics, I do one final read. I do it on a Kindle, as it’s the easiest way to simulate the look of a novel and spot the mistakes. I attempt to read it quickly, as a reader would do, trying not to get bogged down with tinkering unnecessarily. Instead, I go all eagle-eyed and look out for the following types of errors:
1. Teleporting characters
It’s amazing how often my characters seem to move through time and space as if by magic. My latest WIP saw two of my characters hop off a ferry and spot their friends in a pub garden in the distance, only for them to arrive at their table a few lines later, without reference to them having taken a single step. A simple addition of “she said, as they walked towards the pub” will help to literally move my characters along and make it less jarring for the reader.
2. Signposting between chapters
It’s rare that I work on more than one chapter in a single sitting; instead, I spend a long time focusing on a particular section. So when I do the final read through, it’s often the first time that I’ve really read the ending of one chapter and the beginning of the next in quick succession.