Another week has gone by, and mild rain has come, casting more grey across the north London suburb where I live. I haven’t done any more work on my current novel, just waited to hear back from an agent.
However, during the week, I read a first-rate psychological thriller. In the story, a man flees London. The narrator doesn’t state why. Instead, the back story comes in short sections throughout the novel. The present setting – a remote farm in rural France – works well with a sense of rising menace, especially as the two-time frames collide. The writer has a sensitive style with insight, a refreshing change from other crime novels I’ve read. I don’t want to give away any more. The book? Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett. Read it!
Meanwhile, my debut novel Secrets by Lawrence Estrey is available from Amazon in paperback and e-book.
Check out the reviews for Secrets.
Newspaper article on author.
EggHead by Lawrence Estrey: Questions And Answers
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I spent the last week or so going through the manuscript of my current novel and weeding out unnecessary details that can cause a story to drag. Writers differ, of course, but for me the worst two culprits are ping-pong dialogue and instances of droning monologue. Cut these, and the manuscript begins to flow, the story takes shape and readers can better identify with the events on the page.
Can writers cut too much? I think so. I would advise any writer to keep copies of all past manuscripts, carefully titled to avoid confusion – for instance “draft five, summer eleven.” Ruthless editing will usually strengthen the overall structure of a novel, but sometimes a writer goes too far in cutting superfluous material, losing a degree of immediacy and individuality in the process. On those occasions, the writer might consider going back to a previous draft, lifting a few favourite sections and carefully implementing these in the new draft.
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