Needs more

I’m editing my manuscript at the moment. Ha! Manuscript. That’s a fancy word for a very, very, very rough first draft. Well, I must call it something, so why not that?

Anyway, each night I take a beer and a pen and I sit with my pile of paper and read through it and make notes. Crossing out words, striking out whole paragraphs, shuffling pages around, adding in bits and pieces. It’s a puzzle, and I know how it should all look at the end, but the pieces themselves are a little hard to grasp.

There are, apparently, two types of writers: those who need to cut, and those who need to add. I’m very much the latter. I constantly find myself writing ‘add more here’, ‘more explanation needed’, ‘research this’, or my favourite ‘why the hell is this happening?’ Many of my minor characters don’t even have names, and yet they appear later on in important passages. They need names!

So after two weeks of editing, the thing I have learned most about my manuscript is – it needs more. I knew that already, of course. But I can see myself on rewrite number two, three, rewrite number five, still writing ‘needs more’ without ever actually getting around to it.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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