Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Sometimes when writing, the outcome of a day's work can be a reduced word count. And I'm not thinking solely about when editing for tightness removes unnecessary verbiage. Today I was pondering how tackle the next chapter of my novel, the one which introduces Freddie Whitaker as a major  viewpoint character, and it became quite clear that it would work far better if I were to scrap the chapter which I have just written.

My previous chapter began with Judy arriving in Cambridge to spend a week of her Easter break at Radcliffe Court, the college where her uncle is Principal. My new chapter, the one which I shall begin writing tomorrow, opens with Judy arriving in Cambridge... But this time we shall see it all through Freddie's eyes as he picks her up from the railway station and begins to confide in her in a way which he cannot  with his own family, something of the  church intrigue that has led to his unlooked-for retirement.

So was the previous chapter wasted effort? Not in the least. It goes into my growing folder of notes and episodes which build up the background and the characters of the story.


lizy-expat-writer said...

You scrapped a whole chapter? Well done! I did the same last week and my novel was vastly improved. Mind you - I then wrote more into another chapter and the word count is creeping up again!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I try not to be too concerned about word count. You write, write, write and watch the words increase and then you edit, edit, edit and watch it decrease. For the sake of my own morale, I stopped measuring progress by my word count.