Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Writing Question

cschells asked I just started doing some fiction writing for the first time in a long, long while--the last thing I wrote before that was my dissertation! So I'm curious, when you come to the end of writing a book, how much prose would you say you've deleted? I would guess that in the course of writing my dissertation I probably got rid of 10 times what I actually kept. I kind of thought that writing fiction would be more streamline (why, I don't know!), but 13 pages in I already have scenes that I know didn't happen that way...

I think it varies a lot, just depending on how you write. Sometimes I keep most of what I do except for minor revision, sometimes I have to go back and throw out whole chapters or sections, if I realize I've gone off in the wrong direction. Some people will write an entire first draft, throw the whole thing out, and start over from the beginning. Some people have to kind of wander around in the story, writing a lot of extraneous scenes before they figure out where it's going. Whatever works for you is whatever works, but don't hesitate to throw out bits or rewrite if you feel you want to.


Still taking writing questions here. On writing and/or publishing in general, or on my writing.

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When you're working through a piece, snipping words here and there, and supplying more over there -- it can be really hard to count.

Whoo hoo! Just a note to let you know that I found (and bought) a copy of The Cloud Roads this evening at the Tattered Cover in Denver. I'm really looking forward to reading past the second chapter...

Oh, cool! Thanks for letting me know! And I hope you enjoy it!

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