Following on from my recent post where I sent my manuscript to a copy editor and dealt with the errors and comments, I took another look at the work. I was surprised by what I saw and how “long winded” some passages and indeed whole chapters were. Let us not forget that this was the 9th draft.
I did the only thing I could and attacked the longer parts of the book. I knew of one chapter where there was a meeting. Even when I wrote it I knew it was long winded but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to cut it down. This time I could and together with three other long chapters I cut out another ten thousand words, yes ten thousand.
The manuscript now sits at the tenth draft and a positively youthful 118,000 words from the 140,000 sent to the copy editor. It even “sounds and feels” a better book at 118,000 words. Say 140,000 and you think, “that’s long”. It was.
Not only that, but the major issues with the work were my constant repetitive use of several words at the beginning of sentences.
to name the main culprits.
One of my other big issues was the use of commas. I had thousands of them. Most commonly used to string two sentences together. So if anyone needs a few I have a box full they can have free of charge.
I am now going to print off the new version and go through it line by line with the copy editor’s comments at the side. This will enable me to check the corrections. The manuscript will then get another full read through. Only when I am completely satisfied will I be ready to start to make approaches to agents and publishers.
I shall keep you posted.