Painful but neccessary
I’ve just begun another edit of what I firmly believe, and hope is my best novel: The book Of Pain.
Yet within two pages I was reluctantly forced to get rid of almost a hundred words. Overused, repetitious, overly melodramatic, plain unneccessary and just downright wrong. I’ve been doing it again, which is to say falling in love with my own words. This edit began with 153k words. I wonder how many will be left at the end.
Here’s the first three pragraphs, which began as six.
“For over three hundred years he’d roamed the world, yet not a single day had passed without his thoughts returning to this evil place of the damned.
Above him the remains of the ancient abbey cowered beneath a gloomy canopy of overhanging oaks softly groaning under the relentless advance of mottled ivy. The once mighty branches now all but consumed within the parasite’s choking embrace, leaving just a weary congregation of deformed and strangulated sentinels patiently waiting for death in a place stripped of all magic and wonder.
Peering up at the chalky rock he grimaced at the winged griffins, horned cherubs and other even more grotesquely ornate creatures clinging to the stone arches, their faces contorted and determined that none would pass through the portals of the desiccated place. With a grim smile he recalled his terror and the hurried crossing of his feverishly beating heart every time he’d summoned the courage to look up, convinced that they had seen into his childish soul and spied his unconsciously evil intentions. The notion had never been entirely erased and still, after all this time they retained their menace. Quickly stumbling over the rubble covered ground he halted within the roofless interior. After all these centuries the livid scorch marks on the ancient oak beams had not faded as if the great fire had been just a few days ago. ”
I suspect even more will have to go but as all you writers will understand, it’s difficult to press delete on that which you’ve so long laboured.
Here’s the latest version of the cover, which like everythg else, will probably have to go.