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Monday, August 11, 2008

Advice for Novelists (Part 39)

C.J. Darlington, co-founder of TitleTrakk, is running a great series on her blog: She started a series of blog posts in which industry professionals (editors, agents, publicists, authors, etc.) share their responses to this question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

Today lend you ear to the advice of crime/mystery novelist Chris Well and his response to the question: Good fiction is not a product of writing -- it is a product of rewriting. Write your first draft in secret, set it aside, and come back later with fresh eyes. Go through and cut what isn't supposed to be there, add what you thought was already in there, and repair all the wonky transitions that made so much sense when you wrote it. Rinse. Repeat.

(Rule of thumb: If you have a target word count, make sure your first draft is a good ten- or twenty-percent above that count; as you go through and cut unnecessary words, your manuscript will shrink.)

--Chris Well, author of the novels Forgiving Solomon Long, Deliver Us From Evelyn & Tribulation House. Visit him online at his website here and his informative blog here.

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