Expanding from within


It gets to be hard to move my book forward. I start each day revising the previous day's writing, and instead of my normal process of paring it down, cutting it back, I find I am expanding it. My daily target of 1000 words was passed today without actually progressing the action. I simply added scenes within what had gone before, and expanded the arguments. A great deal was done in dialogue alone. I did then manage an extra few hundred words so I have something new to work from tomorrow, and will probably spend much of the day expanding that.

I'm pleased with the results. The book is based on an extraordinary premise and situated in a strange landscape ... not so much a future as an alternative present. I can see that repeated explanation through different methods is necessary if vital facts are not going to pass the reader by. I also know my books can afford to be longer. Headline for example prefers an 80,000 word minimum for its fiction and I have yet to write any book as long as that.

My test each day is that each paragraph keeps up some momentum. So long as my attention doesn't flag as a reader of my own work, the writing has not become slack. More than anything else, as a writer and reader, I like my writing to be sharp.

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