Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Rewriting by Marie-Louise Jensen

I'm rewriting a manuscript at the moment. It's taking a very long time. Perhaps because I wrote the second half of the book quite quickly, I seem to want to make endless changes on every single page - over and above what's been requested by my editor. The story is also several thousand words too long. So the word count button is in constant use. Great - it's down three thousand words! Oh no, it's back up again - how did that happen?
How is it that changes nearly always add words rather than removing them? A bit like the sock moster in reverse: no matter how careful you are, more come out of the wash than went in.
My mini computer goes everywhere with me at the moment. It makes its appearance in cafes, on the bus, in waiting rooms, and very frequently in the car while I'm waiting for my sons. They are banned from all activities over 2.5 hours, which is how long my battery can last. But no matter how long I spend, I can't seem to get to the end of the manuscript.
My consolation is that I really feel the writing and the story are improving. That makes it all worthwhile...as long as I still think so when I read it through afterwards.

3 comments:

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

What kind of mini-computer are you using? I've been looking for something really light, and have been considering the iPad, but am afraid that will be a nightmare converting mss back and forth.

Brian Keaney said...

When I'm rewriting, I only ever seem to be able to cut words.

Stroppy Author said...

Adventures - iPad won't work for editing, and it's not super-easy for typing unless you get a bluetooth keyboard (though it might be possible to get used to typing on it). Because there's no mouse, touching to place the cursor in text is not terribly easy. (I use a macbook air, which is not very small, but it's light and of ccourse it does everything.)

Good luck, ML - I'm like you, books always grow as I edit them!