ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

A Letter Regarding Text Butchery and Milestones

He’d build her a bigger house, our Intrepid Heroine decided. Or at least he ought to. One had to be fair when burning one’s subjects’ homes down.

Our Intrepid Heroine the Second

Dear Peoples,

Our Intrepid Heroine the Second has officially reached the First Draft Milestone. In a colossal push that surprised even me, the words piled up and up and up until the final word was written.

It is more than double the length of the first book. I have a Proper Title prepared for it, and several bouts of Text Butchery awaiting it.

fig 1.1: ruins with ivy

Ah yes, Text Butchery. Something that alternatively makes me a little terrified or a little excited. Remember when I wrote about my astounding find wayy back in the January of last year? Yes. I’m going to have to take my own advice.

It would be easier to roll over and read a book (which is a thing that I have never done. Ever. *guilty cough*) and pretend that someone else is doing all the hefty work of forming my ball of wordy clay into a cozy coherent kettle. But alas, I am not permitted to dwell in the Land of Delusion (as much as I would wish to) and so I must press on, editing one sentence, one paragraph at a time.

I didn’t post last week as I was away, spewing words onto a blank sheet and brainwashing folk with Alistair Macleans [result: highly successful].

Anyhow, I’m giving myself a pat on the back and a gloomy look in the mirror. The pat because I finished a First Draft, the gloomy look because there is still further to go.

Cups of tea and other lovely things,


As a side note, I have been interviewed on the Homeschooled Authors blog. Click here to have a peek at it, if you wish to.

ness talks about life, ness writes about writing


Reforming sentences, scratching out words, replacing those words, staring at plot holes, attempting to fix those plot holes, despairing, hoping, enjoying … and the cycle goes on.


Wonderful, isn’t it?

I love it. I hate it.

I’m a wonderful writer. I am a terrible writer, wallowing in typos and badly formed grammar.

That sentence sounded beautiful. That sentence a four year old would disdain to use.

Some things are a breeze to edit, others are akin to forcing your way out of a collapsed mine.

Generally, I like to think that I enjoy it – The Dragons We Hunt, my now complete (!) novel, is a breeze to go through. My pen and I have wondrous fun striking off a word here, changing a word there, and twiddling with a sentence over yonder.

Yes, we get on splendidly.

And then there was another story – a short one. That was horrendous. In a month, I’ve experienced two sides to editing – the good and the bad. Enjoyable and akin-to-teeth-pulling.

But, I’ve survived.

And I suppose that is the moral of this post – don’t give up. Yes, it may take a while and, at times, be horrible to do … but you can get through it. Wade in, roll up your sleeves and grit your teeth. Take one paragraph, one sentence, one word at a time.

You’ll get there.

… and listen to music. It helps … and because of it, I’ve found a new composer – Brian Craine, everybody!