More Productive Than Alexander the Great on Holiday!

I like editing my stories.
     Taking a story, punishing it to a large extent and forcing it from crap to mediocre is very satisfying.
     I think of myself as a good editor; I am ruthless with my work, asking whether each paragraph plays any role in the story. I can cut a thousand words from a story and weep only a little (well, like a babe in swaddling cloth rather than as a comic geek whose favourite title has been pulled and replaced by a Grant Morrison revamp).
     Actually, the editing process is an interesting one. I write crap first drafts; often I feel compelled to insert an exciting new idea into a story which then fails to play any important role in the tale. Removing said ‘idea’ then proves difficult because I assure myself that no matter how useless the plot point is, the idea is so new and novel that the world will grant me an extra five hundred words.
     Because I’m great.
     Great, but still unpublished in any meaningful way.
     Editing takes a long time; my current story ‘Towards End’ (which I am having serious doubts as whether it says anything interesting) is on to revision 10. I thought I had it down pat with version 9, but then I realised that I could excise sections and restructure other paragraphs and so it probably needs another two edits to bring the current version into readable copy.
     It takes about an hour to edit a three thousand word story. It took about two hours to write it, and another thirteen hours to edit it.
     Fifteen hours, and I’d be lucky to get an hundred for it if it ever sells. So that’s about seven dollars per hour.
     This is not a glorious business. And as I haven’t sold a single story it will turn out that my first story sold will proably ned me something close to fifty cents for all the hours needed to write something publishable.
     (I have a kidney for sale, if anyone wants it…)


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