Tag Archives: Over the Line

Culling words

I am reworking a children’s book for publication in March 2014. My deadline is… soon.

The original version was 35,000 words. The new version needs to be 20,000 words. This week’s job is to cull 15,000 words without annihilating the story completely.

I think I have spent nine months writing this book to date, so, looking at it that way, I am culling three or four months work.

That should make me feel bad. Like I’ve wasted my time. But it doesn’t. In fact, it makes me feel great. It is exhilarating to have to remove material from a book. To have no choice. You have to look for look for anything weak. Anything that does not directly tell the story. And you realise that there is a lot that can go.

Well, I do. That could be a weakness in my original work, or it could be a valid part of the writing process.

The book is question is called Over the Line and is about a soldier from WWI who won two medals for bravery at the Somme, then went on to score England’s first goal after the war. It will be published in March 2014 by Barrington Stoke. Unless I have annihilated it.

It’s called Over the Line and is about a soldier from WWI who won two medals for bravery at the Somme, then went on to score England’s first goal after the war.

Advertisements