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Posts tagged with: Catherine Spangler

Less Is Best: Cut those words!

I can be amazingly, astoundingly wordy, and in addition I obviously love adverbs, too. Ahem. I once had a critique partner, the amazing, astounding Catherine Spangler (who is taking a temporary hiatus from writing.*sniff, sniff* If you haven’t read her backlist—read them!), who used to pound me over the head with “less is best”. Sometimes she scribbled on every page of my manuscript (yes, back in the day when we used hardcopy) in RED INK gasp! those three words “less is best” along with red lines drawn through a heck a lot of sentences on my pages.

Not a single solitary sentence was safe from that pen of hers! (In keeping with the intent of this post, that sentence can be tightened: Not a sentence was safe from her pen.)

Recently I revised, ripped and totally rewrote THE GOOD DAUGHTER. (and I plan to write a couple of blog posts next month on just how I did that.) It started out at 120,000 words and after that process I managed to cut almost 40,000 words. Then, when I decided to indie-pub THE GOOD DAUGHTER, I sent it to an editor and oops, I’d cut too much. I ended up adding back 14,000 words once I finished with her suggestions. Still, 94,000 words is leaner than 120,000.

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  • Bev Pettersen: What a beautiful, inspiring post, Heather. Even better were your test results at the end. Grinning...
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