From the Writer’s Garret

This is the first blog post on my new website. Previously, I had a free WordPress site. I’ll be leaving that up in the near term.

In terms of work, I’m currently revising my fourth novel. For me, the self-editing process is the most painful stage of any writing project. On my previous novel, I went through three revision stages before I sent the manuscript to my copy editor. On the project before that, I got to the same stage with two revisions. I find that self-editing takes a long time; as in a month or two for each new draft. During the first revision, I’m typically rewriting all of the prose, and I mean all of it. When I’m self-editing, it’s an absolute joy to see a long stretch of dialogue back and forth. Why is that? Dialogue is more natural, I guess. Plus, I get the opportunity to say all of the crazy lines out loud.

If I were able to streamline the self-editing phase, I think I could easily release three 100k word books per year. As it stands, I can manage two per year. Well, perhaps 1.8 books per year, if I’m being honest. On this point, I’d like to take this opportunity to bring up a pet peeve. You often hear authors talking about word count per day. Some utterly fantastic figures are often bandied around. But let’s say that you manage 2,000 words per day, tortoise-slow according to some authors. Let’s also assume that my hypothetical writer works Monday to Friday. So, no weekends. That would get you to a cool 520,000 words per annum, or to put it another way, two GoT books. While we’re on the subject of fantasy, let’s say you’re cranking out 6k words a day. That gets you to a cool 1.56 million words per annum, which is almost exactly two King James bibles!!

What’s my point? Ermmm, I’ve rather lost track. Oh yes, be very wary when you hear talk of word count. It almost certainly doesn’t take account of editing time. Writing is editing, and editing is writing. And I haven’t even mentioned the time that goes into story structure and outlining, and the research phase. For example, I can now tell you exactly how many sworn officers there are in the LAPD.

By the way, I’m absolutely sure that there is an author out there who can manage 1.56 million words per annum. Please don’t @ me! And if you can produce two works as good as the bible, then good on you.

Peace out.

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