I have always liked listening to the radio ever since the days of Children’s Hour. Sometimes I think I would miss it more than the television. Recently I was listening to the program “Quote Unquote”
It began with
“You write each novel to correct the failings of the previous ones”
As I have just been preparing to upload the very first novel I ever wrote – a light Rainbow Romance for Robert Hale called Lonely is the Valley - I have a fair idea what the speaker means and I hope I have corrected some of my faults in the books I have written since.
I admit to the faults of repetition of some words and the use of too many adverbs and adjectives. Three of the many words I try not to repeat too often are suddenly, just and that. Since I wrote my early books we are fortunate to have modern technology as an aid with the “find and replace” buttons on the computer. Sometimes I have searched for “ly” – the ending to most adverbs – and I have been dismayed to find so many. In the last chapter of his book “On Writing” Stephen King declares we do not need adverbs and adjectives. I can’t agree entirely – far more prolific and successful writer though he is - but his advice has helped me review my own writing with a fresh perspective.
Then there is the maxim “Do as I say – not as I do”.
How often are we told to read our work aloud? I’m afraid I never do. Now I know I should. Recently I received the audio book of the first full length saga I wrote - Fairlyden. I don’t usually listen to my own work because I know what happens but it is many years since this one was first published. Also it is read by Nick McArdle, the first male reader I have had for any of my audio books. I was curious to hear what sort of a job he made. I have to say he was excellent, performing all the accents from broad Scots to broad Yorkshire, as well as the more precise speech of the gentry and even the child. I am delighted with his reading andt it was a very long novel. Listening to it I realise now I ought to have ended the story two thirds of the way through at a point which could have been a very happy conclusion. I would have seen my mistake if I had read aloud, or recorded it, myself. True it would have affected the three books which followed in the series but that could have been rectified if I had realised my error in time.
Finally as a writer of romantic fiction a quote from Horace (I think). Is this a true reflection of romantic love?
“With you I’d love to live
And with you I’d gladly die.”