Today I’m celebrating the loss of 10,000 words. They have been axed from a second version of my soon to be published new book, A Cornish Obsession.
And it was a haunting experience!
I say ‘celebrate’ because it was a huge task to undertake, and somewhat emotional getting rid of those words, phrases, sentences – and in some cases whole chapters – without losing the context of the plot.
But they’ve gone now, and this version of the book is now a sharper 60,000 words, which is the maximum acceptable by the large print publishers
I work with.
There are two ways of looking at this. The longer 70,000-word version is more descriptive, scene setting, and with a lot more dialogue. I enjoy working like this because it gives a novel a sense of place, and to my mind, it creates a personality. And this longer version is the one I’ll be self-publishing as an Amazon eBook next week.
I’m not saying the shorter one lacks that vital element, but it is more concise, and fits the criteria of the publishers.
Until now I wasn’t sure if it would be easier to add such a huge chunk of words to a novel, or to cut them. But I’m in no doubt any more. Adding is easier.
I discovered something else in this process. In the final scene, my two main characters, Loveday and Sam, are on the train, bound for a Christmas in the Scottish Highlands.
Completely by chance I was checking train times and discovered that trip from Penzance to Inverness would take something like 14 hours. I can’t believe I didn’t check that sooner.
Now they will be flying from Newquay.