It’s a hard lesson to learn, but less is more. On my fourth draft of current project and I’m paring right back to find the story is getting stronger and stronger.
I’m learning that my default reaction is to say, ‘oh that’ll be good’ and ‘what about if this happened’ and ‘wouldn’t it be fun to add this’… Yeah that’s all good up to a point, but eventually you have to make choices and get rid of stuff. A book doesn’t get stronger the more you crowbar in, it improves when you take all those extra ideas out, and find the heart of the story.
Incidentally, is it really a draft when practically nothing remains from the original writing apart from the names of the characters and the setting?
The depressing bit of this is realising all those original words have gone, The exciting thing is finding that the new words are so much better.
But no-one said it would be easy.