Typically, the advice you get is to reduce your work by at leat 10% with each editing session. If you’ve got 100,000 words when you start you should have 90,000 after you edit the first time and 80,000 the second time.

On Writing is my favorite book on writing but...


Good writing means using the fewest words possible to get your plot, characters and feel communicated.

Could your editing ever result in increrasing your word count?

It does for me.

That used to bother me but it doesn’t any more.

I’ve come to realize that my first draft is for me to get stuff out of my head and on to paper. I write for short bursts of time and when I go back and read what I’ve written I’ve almost always find that I need to develop themes more, get into characters more and smooth out the plot by adding seasoning.

It goes against Stephen King’s, Syd Fields and Robert McKee’s advice.

The lesson? Take advice, find out what experts say and then do whatever it takes to get your book written.