Friday, 7 December 2012


Another product of constantly re-reading your own manuscript is that you get wedded to the text. My book is around 100,000 words or so.  At one time it was quite a bit longer. Through the editing process we added quite a bit, to flesh out the thinner parts of some of the stories. Switching from a novel format to a book of short stories also necessitated some extra writing. Each character I kept had to stand alone, rather than be a bit player in the overall narrative.

I had written the whole thing with the mind-set, “what can I add to this?” – and the result was a pretty unwieldy manuscript. That’s when the red pen came out and I tried to think about whether a sentence or a paragraph was actually necessary, whether it moved the story forward. About ten per cent of the book disappeared in a couple of days. Looking at each paragraph that was deleted, I was certain the book was poorer for its omission. Reading the whole thing from the start there was no doubt the stories had a better flow and I had a better chance of keeping the reader’s attention

If you are not still reading at this point, then I have clearly failed to carry the discipline over into my blog.

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