Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

See any detour as an opportunity to experience new things.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

I spent last weekend reading the printed pages of my new novel-in-progress. Interesting experience. And I mean that in the best possible way.

It was good to read my manuscript in one sitting, to see that I had built links in the first pages that bore fruit in later chapters. I like the story and how it’s unfolding. The characters, for the most part, are fleshed out.

I’m experimenting with the introduction of new protagonists in each section and overall it seems to work, but it’s too early to tell how successful this approach will be. Still I confirmed for myself that it’s worth pursuing.

I was also able to see some blatant inconsistencies I wouldn’t have been able to catch if I’d simply continued going forward.

On the word front, I realized how much I Iove descriptors like shiver, tremble, quiver and shake. You’d think I was writing about an earthquake. Talk about overuse. So shuddering with trepidation, I crossed out many of these lovely words. This forced me to delve further into what my characters were experiencing.

Reading my work in progress helped me map out a way forward. I’m sure I’ll get stuck again, but this detour taught me that going back is not always a bad thing.


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