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Island Life, Word Birds & Process #10

Writing a book – if you can pull it off – is a pretty cool trick. It happens however in layers and conjuring a second draft is part of the enchantment. It’s when the writer searches for the missing part of the spell that makes the whole thing work.

I’m here to tell you, in my case, there is no trickery. Too many of the words aren’t even there.

My tendency to edit as I go is a trait in myself I’ve settled for. Over the years I’ve tried to resist but it’s no good and that’s how it is. It does mean I’m inclined to take out rather a lot on the way. In the process I leave holes, and sometimes miss opportunities or connections.

Having killed a fair number of my darlings – before they even had time to plead extenuating circumstances – I’m now filling the spaces in between. Summoning the missing words in the hope my reader will assume they were there from the beginning.

Annex - Harlow, Jean_62

I’m taking my time with this second draft and enjoying the experience. Be that as it may, the question remains – the one that vexes all writers at this stage: how do we edit our work and know what’s good and what’s rubbish?

We do our best is the answer. Plug away, learn from our previous efforts and thank our lucky stars if we are fortunate enough to have a great editor. Someone we can hand the whole thing over to when it’s done.

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