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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Removing the unwanted bits.

I have now more or less broken the back of my first draft. I still have about 10,000 words to go before reaching my initial target of 80,000. When I have finished the re-write, I expect to raise this figure by about ten percent. If I was still under contract to my last publisher, now defunct, I would have been asked to trim the word count by a considerable margin. As an Indie writer, I can do as I please, although I have to remember that more words does not necessarily make it a better story. I find myself thinking of scenes I have written that day and realising that my timing is out, or that I just don’t like what I’ve written. It’s a gut feeling always, one I expect most writers have.


We are approaching the ‘holiday’ season according to the promoters who are trying to persuade us indie writers that now is the time to get out there and promote. No doubt there are statistics to back all this up — Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind. For the promoters, it’s a golden opportunity to increase their profits as we succumb to the temptation and spend our money on promotions, the majority of which will stare bleakly into the abyss and do nothing for our book sales. But I have given in to one, and that is a Cross Promotion activity that will probably reach more potential readers than a direct advert. More bang for the buck as they say. If it works, I will let you know through these pages; just don’t hold your breath though.


On the domestic front, I successfully took a Rainbow Shark out of my aquarium and gave it back to the local garden centre where they accept fish that are no longer wanted. I had it for two weeks, and it would not leave my other fish alone. Sharks are territorial, which is not really helpful for the other residents in the tank. I replaced it with a couple of Mollies. The shark was only a wee one, nothing like Jaws!


Interesting article in today’s paper about the Man Booker prize winner, Ralph Beatty and his book, Sellout. Apparently he uses the word “nigger” about two hundred times (I can’t confirm that). When my romance, Past Imperfect, was with my publisher, my editor asked me to remove the word because it would be deemed offensive in today’s ‘climate’. I had used the word once! Perhaps if I had insisted on leaving it in, I might have generated some controversy and sold more books.


Yesterday we took our Cockapoo puppy, Tuppence, to be spayed. It seemed such a shame for a young one like that (she’s nine months old), but it was recommended by the vet. We did a lot of soul searching over this. Now we have a very docile little girl who needs some TLC. She’s eating OK and doing the business etc. but she should be back to her sock chasing, ball playing, love other dogs mode fairly soon. Wish me and Pat luck!

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