January 13th, 2021

book cover humor

Cutting Edge Book Editing

So, the first draft of The Source Emerald weighed in at 67,515. The second draft topped out at 70,294. Now I've finished the third draft, and the new word count? 69,028. An increase of 2,779 words, followed by a decrease of 1,266 words.

But not the same words.

My third draft was a seek and destroy mission against certain words that can weaken your writing. Words that can make your writing too passive, such as "was". Adverbs. Words ending with "ing" that can become repetitive. Unnecessary words: For instance, instead of "stood up", why not just "stood"? Take up out, and make it stand down.

The word "suddenly" makes an action less sudden. Don't have too many "has". Don't tell the reader a character "felt" something ... show them feeling it.

Unlike some writers, I don't believe you have to stamp out every single one of these words. Treat them as a spice: Put in too many, and the mix isn't right. Despite what Stephen King says, I do have adverbs in my writing ... just not too many of them.

And now? The fourth draft. Time to work on voice and characterization a little.


Don't forget to check out the new short story!


Remember, books are the best entertainment: You don't have to worry about whether the CGI will be any good.