Tuesday, 25 May 2010


It's curious, isn't it, that no matter how many times you go through a manuscript, there is always something there to alter? Partly, I suspect that it is simply a case of personal change, perhaps of learning something more about the craft of writing too. Possibly, it is also because my original manuscript for CofD contained so many errors that only a million passes will sort it? This pass only started life as an attempt to improve an awful first paragraph, but it seems to have spiralled out of control.

I've been reading the new Tom Holt book, Blonde Bombshell, which seems so far to be drifting more towards the sci-fi end of the scale than the fantasy. It's still funny.

This is written in a brief gap in editing someone else's work. Editing is always a bit of a balancing act, because you have to decide exactly how heavy handed it's right to be. Do too much, and it doesn't read like their work. Do too little, as I briefly did with my first attempt, and it doesn't end up as good as it could be.

The first Test against Bangladesh (for those with a feeling of deja vu, one of our winter series was against them too) starts on Thursday. With the differences between England's T20 and Test teams, I'm having trouble keeping track of who is in favour, who is out, and who is merely resting (or, in Stuart Broad's case, doing some intensive gym work because everyone has decided that he needs to look less like a stick. You'd think he would rather be bowling).


Theresa Milstein said...

I agree, it's hard to stop tweaking. I've heard the advice when we only change commas, it's done.

Raquel Byrnes said...

I tend to do the most altering after I've stepped away from the ms for a while. There must be something about distance that makes it easier to slice and dice. I once changed the entire ending (six chapters) after leaving a book for a month.