Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Getting more toothpaste out of the tube

I always find editing hard. Here's today's example. Last night, I spotted a promising anthology of horror stories. An old piece that I wrote called "Ten Paintings of Nettle Woods" would be perfect, but it's 1500 words too long.

No problem, I naively think, and when I wake up at 5.30am, I run downstairs to my PC like a child on Christmas Morning. I must easily be able to lose 1500 words from something 7000 words long. Only here's the catch: two hours work has only lost 200 words, so it's looking increasingly like I've already had several goes editing this in the past. A lot of the fat has already gone.

In effect, I'm trying to get the last bit of toothpaste out of an already heavily squeezed tube.

Hopefully, my submission will be scary, rather than minty fresh

Oh, in case you were wondering, I deleted the first chapter of the new novel in the end. It wasn't flowing right and I kept getting that mental 'clang' sound I get whenever a sentence is so bad that it breaks the story. I think sometimes it's just better to take a bit of writing out behind the woodshed and do what needs to be done.

I'm so sorry: your dialogue was terrible

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