Add or Subtract

I often see people on Facebook and Twitter commentating that they are editing, and it’s usually along the lines of ‘cut a thousand words today’.

This always puzzles me a little. My editing usually involves adding words, it is not often taking them away. That’s because my first draft is very bare, my second and third a bit longer, but I always forget to add things. A description, perhaps. A vital plot point. A scene to illustrate someone’s character.

I rarely take words out, unless I am taking out a plot strand, or a repetition. But I suppose that’s an example of the different way we all write. Some pour everything onto the page, then have to pare it down. Some build a skeleton and have to add to it bit by bit.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby


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