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Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Editing - Pain Or Pleasure?

I have just edited a story destined for The Writers And Artists Yearbook competition. I had left it to fester for some weeks while nestled in the sofa watching Project Runway with my daughters during the wet days of their summer holiday.

Tackling it was a joy. I had been dreading it, because I was pleased with the first and second drafts. That meant I was likely to loathe it third time round. There were certainly plenty of silly things to delete and a scattering of pretentious adverbs to throw out. But, all in all, it was a lovely task, because I still liked the story so much. And it's another story in the pipeline. If it doesn't succeed, then it will stand a great chance somewhere else.

It also spawned further ideas for new stories, which is a good tip for fresh ideas - look at all your old stories so far. Take one or two a day. Is there a character you are fond of or a setting which you have conveyed well? Can you use them again in another story? I have re-used a character from my novel in a short story and recreated a setting based very loosely on what I know of North Carolina (which isn't very much). The stories are new, but are inspired by these old friends.

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