Accidental Pilgrim Blog

Put a fork in me

Sunday, November 09, 2003

I’m done. Can I have my life back now please? After a month of working all but full-time at the day job and coming home to work flat out on the book, I’m delivering the final draft tomorrow.

I think it’s better than it was, but there’s a wood and trees thing going on, so I really can’t tell any more. At a micro level, a large number of the individual sentences have definitely improved. It’s a little scary how much work the manuscript could still soak up productively.

The word count is down from 85,000 to 78,000, and I reckon you’d be hard pushed to spot the removals. A few bits that I liked had to go, which was sad, but I realised that me liking them wasn’t a good enough reason for them to stay in, if they upset the flow of things. Maybe I’ll do a collectors’ edition with a DVD of deleted scenes. Most of them revolve around food. But most of the deletions have been the odd sentence here or there, or even a clause that’s been tightened. Out went a lot of the adjectives too.

Halfway through the edits I was grumpy as fuck and wanted to throw the laptop out the window. It’s been the hardest part of the process so far.

I’ll see the damn thing twice more – once when the line by line edits come back, and again when the page proofs are ready. But even if I think another month could improve the book further, the law of diminishing returns kicks in, and I just couldn’t bring myself to keep polishing indefinitely. All my journalism and web writing experience has taught me just to get it out the door and leave it at that.

Posted by David in • Accidental Pilgrim