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Hi, welcome to my blog, I am a writer of short stories, children's and YA novels . An acceptance from People's Friend finally made me a published writer! Yeah, happy days! I have since had stories published in The Weekly News and The Last Laugh anthology. My main love is writing children's/YA novels...I'm now enduring a fruitless search for an agent... I also draw and paint, I like to draw animals (usually my adorable crazy cats!)Occasionally famous people and motorcycles.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

deleting bit by bit

I have been trawling through the children's novel, looking for blidingly obvious boringness. What I did find, is that a lot of words are just unnecessary. I have been deleting them, ruthlessly.

For a small example, these few lines originally read:

David’s mum nodded and looked at David with a thoughtful expression, as if she was contemplating whether to say something more about the incident. She obviously changed her mind and looked at them with a bemused expression.
“Ooh, have you seen that girl next door?”

After a ruthless word cut,

David's mum nodded thoughtfully, David hoped there would be no more mention of the incident. To his relief, his mum suddenly looked bemused,
"Ooh, have you seen the girl next door?"

Hopefully David's mother's forgiving change of subject is still apparent, in less words.

I don't know, I think I will be at this editing lark for a long long while. What do you think, better or worse?

Interestingly, for anyone writing children's books, there is a competition to write the best opening paragraph in 300 words on 'An Awfully Big Blog Adventure' Thanks to Nicola Morgan's Help I need a publisher for the link.

It looks like fun.

Well, have a great day x


  1. I liked the first paragraph! Sorry!! I just got more of a sense of the mum and her bemusement!! But I know nothing so please don't listen to me! LOL!

    I'd say use "David" and "looked" only once though (in the first para) maybe?

    Yay for your editing!! GOOD LUCK Pen and Paints and thanks for the linky to the fabulous Ms Morgan!! Take care

  2. Hehe, that's fine, Old Kitty! Thank you for your thoughts, much appreciated. I'm finding that I doubt myself a lot with all this, I'm never sure if I'm improving or making things worse!! x

  3. I agree with Old Kitty, first one is better! Good luck with the editing :-)

  4. Good luck with the editing. It's sometimes hard to know how ruthless to be isn't it?

  5. Hm - good luck with that editing. If I start to give an opinion you'll wish you'd never asked as I tend to over-analyse everything! If you go with the first para, maybe you could put "looked at her son" to avoid repetition of David.

    Thanks for that link!

  6. Hehe, thanks everyone, how did I miss the two Davids????
    Rosemary, that's a good idea. Thanks!

  7. Because it's David's viewpoint, I think the second is better revision is better and on the right track.

    My suggestions, for whatever they're worth: "When his mum nodded" (he can't really know if it's a thoughtful nod), "he hoped the incident was forgotten" (this is less wordy and says the same thing). To his relief she said, "Ooh, have you seen the girl nextdoor?" I'd cut bemused. I've never thought someone looked bemused, whatever that means. Best to just write what they did and what they said. Less is best. See Hemingway and Stephen King, and translate that lean style to YA and middle grade books. You're definitely on the right track with your changes. I hope my suggestions helped. I think editing is fun.
    Ann Best, Memoir Author


I appreciate all your comments, thank you!