- Purple prose. Of the ‘behold my literary sensibilities’ variety. I don’t know whether to be grateful or embarrassed about this, so I shall be both.
- Repetition. Saying it clearly the first time means not having to say it loosely again and again.
- Waffle. My book isn’t set in Belgium. And even if it was, characters should never be allowed to sit about in comfy chairs, explaining the plot to each other. At least not in front of the reader.
- Un-warranted non-verbal communication and other narrative ticks. Such as staring, gasping, sighing, eye-rolling and arse-scratching. Actually, no-one ever scratched their arse in my book, but if they had, they wouldn’t be doing it now.
- Seeming. When things patently are.
- Many instance of the word that. On the whole I think
thatthis is a good thing.
- A policeman. Yes, a whole policeman. He was a rubbish
policeman anyway. I like to think
thathe’s now in the next street, scratching his arse.
- Repetition. Oh…
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
I am currently working through the line edit of my Science Fiction thriller Haunters (blogged about before as ‘The Ghost Effect’ and due to be published by the Chicken House next May). For those who don’t know what a line edit is, it’s the part of the editorial process that involves the most red ink, the part where the text is scrutinised line by line in search of errors, inconsistencies and crapness. My editor has cut 6,000 words. That’s a lot of crapness. Here is some of it:
I’m told some writers actually go ahead and publish their own e-books without any input from an editor. Don’t do that.