Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Almost Done With The Latest Novel

I'm going to finish my latest novel, a horror story set in Civil War Missouri, this week. I'm at 83,000 words and have about 5,000 more to go. That's a lot of work, but it's only Tuesday and I'm keen to get done.

This is my third novel. The other two are making the rounds with editors and agents. What I've found with all of my novels is that in the initial draft the ending is always a bit rushed. I think that's because by the time I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I'm in a hurry to get done. Revision is for me always easier than initial composition, so I want to get to that stage of the process.

My novels go through a lot of revision. Once I have the whole first draft done, I take a breather, step away from it for a while, and come back to it fresh. I always find stuff I want to change, typos or inconsistencies that have slipped into the text, things I want to heighten or make clearer, etc.

Revision is an essential part of writing a book, and makes the difference between a great idea and a polished, publishable work. I don't mind if my ending is a bit rushed and my work isn't perfect the first time around, because later on I'll tinker with it like crazy.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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