Editing Round One: Missing Bits.

Having recently done the unthinkably stupid and thrown a manuscript at a literary agency, I’ve decided to build on my “idiot things to do with publishing” track record. Today I got started on the active bit of editing the most recent manuscript I’ve finished, which is the “actually writing the bits I and my readers have decided were missing from the story”.

Prior to today I did the “rereading the manuscript to check it was bearable” part, the “making someone else read it and tell me what was wrong with it” part, and the time-wasting “organise all my editing notes chapter by chapter and then write endless notes about them to myself”, but was tied up with the excitement of visiting, among other things, every free art gallery in London, about ten billionty museums, Edinburgh, and more zoos than anyone can reasonably be expected to visit. Also Kew, and the Cutty Sark.

Now, all holidayed-out and desperate to do some work, I found the missing scene from the final chapter sprang messily out of my head while swilling Peyton & Byrne hot chocolate in the small cafe outside the British Library. Tomorrow I have a date with sitting in a similar cafe and trying to hammer out one of two missing full chapters, because I am on a roll. It’s a misshapen roll and one which no one in their right mind would go near, but apparently deliberately forgetting all about the need to edit a manuscript for long enough makes it start more or less editing itself.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from the desk of “okay I can’t remember what any of the character voices were like”, in the office of “I have to go through this whole book and sort out my mangled sentences yet”, in the department of “is that a massive plot hole OH GOD NO”, in the building of “how many edits does it take to make this shit readable”.

Because when this whole process is finished you will be able to buy and read this magnificent and in no way poorly-conceived novel, and I will be able to move on to the research and noodling phase of one of my future books. ISN’T THAT EXCITING?


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