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1:34pm on Thursday, 11th March, 2021:

Bug Reduction


After the latest read-through of my Lizzie Lott #3 children's novel, the number of bugs I've encountered has reduced further. Here are the changes I need to make as they currently stand:

The lower lines of red page number indicates where I have to insert hyphens because the lines have big gaps at the end. If I could persuade MS Word to do the hyphenation it assures me it's capable of doing, this would be a lot easier. The problem with manual hyphenation is that if I make a change to a paragraph then that change can cascade into later lines that I've put hyphens in but no longer need.

Most of the changes I need to do are very minor. I may add or remove or change an adjective, for example, or replace a word with a similar one because I used it six pages earlier and don't want to imply a connection that isn't there. I do still have some sentences that are an awkward read which need more surgery to them, but I think I've caught all the plot holes.

There are some stylistic decisions I need to make, though, largely to do with what French words to render into English in italics and what to deitalicise. These have come to a head this time round, so I had to come up with a set of conventions to follow. Below are the rules I've decide to use, applied in order and stopping when one matches:
1) If the character is speaking actual French, always italicise it.
2) If it's a stand-alone proper noun, don't ever italicise it ("Rue de Rivoli").
3) If it's a stand-alone common noun that the characters then appropriate as if it were English, only italicise the first use ("arrondissement", "fiacre").
4) If it's part of a title that would normally be capitalised, don't italiticise it ("Mademoiselle Lott").
5) If it's a stand-alone proper noun or part of a title but the character doesn't know that yet, treat it as a common noun until they realise ("Hôtel de Ville").
6) If it's a word or phrase that the characters are saying in English dialogue but don't appropriate into English, italicise it ("Voilà").
7) Otherwise, italicise it.

Lesson: I should not have set this book in France.

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