(Cor, September already! That means my birthday is creeping around again and I’ll be a venerable *mumble* years old. I’d better start writing up my convention notes, huh?)
September means three things round here, in vague order of importance:
1) Do my civic duty,
2) Try to get book 1 published, and
3) Edit the second book.
One of these is easier than the others, but a problem I wasn’t expecting to run into while editing was how to hide spoilers.
You see, my alpha reader, otherwise known as my dear husband, hovers around the office at fairly regular intervals in the evening. He’s read the first book, of course. But I want to hide the surprises in book 2 until I’ve at least done one decent pass of editing. And the first thing he tends to do when he comes in is let his eyes wander to the screen, where there is usually a stonking great spoiler. The only thing I can think of is to flail my arms about wildly, yelling ‘SPOILERS’. This, I feel, is suboptimal. So I’ve come up with a few ways to avoid spoilering…
1) The Spoiler Curtain. I work with two monitors ever since my days as a software tester. One for work, the other for wasting time on the internet; it is the One True Way. Perhaps I could rig up a small red pair of curtains to draw over one screen when he comes in. Disadvantage: it then looks like I’ve been on some questionable websites and forgot Incognito browsing exists.
2) Language Obfuscation. Write all in French/Spanish. Disadvantage: the creaking sound the language centre of my brain will make translating back will be Two Ronnies-esque. Maybe just change font and write it in Wingdings.
3) Office Entry System. Stick a doorbell on the office door like some poncy executive as an early warning system. When pressed it would either emit a klaxon, or Collins-era Genesis. (Sorry, Phil. I just prefer Peters in general. Because, y’know.)
4) The False Positives. Reveal the spoilers, only they’re decoys. Like, ‘AND THEN HE WAKES UP IN THE SHOWER AND IT WAS ALL A DREAM’. Or ‘IT WAS THE KELPIE, IN THE DRAWING ROOM, WITH THE LEAD PIPING.’ (Here, that last one’s not too bad, is it? *notes for future murder mystery purposes*)
5) Stop writing on the desktop PC and haul the giant gaming laptop around the house to write. I dearly want to get a Surface, but I’ve been told I have to wait until the first money for my book comes into my account. So, y’know, no pressure or anything…