My editor set me a challenge with the final tweaks of my young adults' novel.
Go through every scene she said, and see if you can add one more element of emotional depth.
It's one of those wonderful things that sounds simple, but is very much not.
I've spent the last two weeks working on it, am almost done, and have come to a conclusion.
This last part of the editing process (hopefully!) has the most remarkable ratio of all the production of a book -
It's about five minutes of thought for each five seconds of actual writing.
Everything else is in place; the plot, the settings, the voice, the structure, all that stuff.
But wringing out the real depths of feeling of the characters is mind-twistingly tough. Just a few words to convey so much emotion.
However! It's so important.
Because, as ever and always, some hard work has really done the trick and added a whole new layer to the story. One which was tough to dig right into and finally reach, but ultimately very rewarding.
That's pretty deep for one of my blogs, so it's clearly time for an uplifting visual interlude -
On the subject of characters, the goslings on my beloved River Exe are growing up nicely and starting to develop their own little personalities.
One is a loner, one an adventurer, another is shy, and the fourth is cheeky.
It takes a bit of time to get to know a character properly, whether it's in fiction, real life, or on the riverbank.
But wow, it's time so very well spent.