I’m plowing through the book now, reading each line and editing on the fly. I know the story very well (having written and rewritten it so many times) but there is still plenty of opportunity for mistakes and inconsistencies. I must be careful.
I must also be expeditious. I can’t afford to waste time agonizing over trivial points and insignificant details. For example, I had several paragraphs that concerned an explanation of the source of a rumor about a disagreement between two characters. I didn’t like the paragraphs and tried several times to rewrite them. I finally realized I was wasting my time, so just deleted them. I went back several pages earlier in the story and added a couple of sentences that quite nicely accomplished my goal. If I had done that earlier, I would have saved perhaps a half hour.
My manuscript includes a number of newspaper articles (fictional of course) relating to events occurring during the course of the story. Some of the events are covered also in the regular narrative, and a professional writer once recommended that I delete the newspaper articles but I did not do so. My idea is to offer them to the reader as supplemental information. If I were the publisher of my book, I would place the newspaper clips on or near the pages where the related events occur. They can be made to look like actual aged, yellowed clipped articles from old newspapers. In fact, I can do that myself with Word and Photoshop. Pretty cool.
I spent so much time reading articles from old newspapers about basketball games and players that I want to share some of that experience with the reader. Besides, I can do whatever I want. I’m the author.
I’m in Chapter 3 now, page 7. The Stillwater Athletic Association met for the first time a few days before, and I’m working into a verbatim transcript of the meeting. George Belt, my narrator, listens to the meeting surreptitiously from his upstairs room. He and he alone knows that his room, for some reason, picks up every sound made in the room downstairs that serves as the Association meeting room. There he lurks, with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk, eavesdropping and snickering at the interesting and often vulgar thoughts and opinions of the town’s civic leaders. Pretty sneaky, George.