My next novel to be published is ‘The Double Act’; this story starts with what seems like a scene that suggests a romantic narrative… but although there is a romantic element, the actual story is much darker and more twisted than that.
I had what I thought was a great beginning, but on reviewing it I decided to slash it and crop it and cut it and write it completely differently and I think the abbreviated and more terse opening is much better. I worked my way through the novel, editing it rigorously, paying attention to helpful and constructive criticism I had received on my previous novel. I lost more than 30,000 unnecessary words, making the whole novel tighter and, I hope, a more compulsive read.
I was really happy with my ending; I believed it to be dramatic, unexpected, exciting and satisfactory… but then… oh dear… I removed my rose-coloured spectacles and read it again through the eyes of my most critical and helpful readers, and oh dear, really it would not do… It was dramatic – if it was a movie, but as a written ending a reader would groan and think how corny and trite it was.
So, I have the events which are fine, I need to cut out the characters’ conversation which however realistic it might be considering what they have endured, does not read well. Show not tell, show don’t speak… back to work!
If you haven’t read my previous novels, here is a link: