The Noble Art of Hopscotch. Or how to get from one scene to another when you don’t know what comes between them.

I have recently emerged from a massive structural edit of my third DARWEN ARKWRIGHT book, and I have to say that it was a tough one, maybe the hardest I’ve ever done. There were some substantial rethinkings of plot and character which I’d come to, thanks to my excellent editor at Razorbill, but which felt so immense that for a couple of weeks after getting the memo and coming to terms with its rightness, I felt utterly paralyzed.

In the end I think I rewrote about a third of the book entirely, throwing out (or rather cutting and pasting into a separate file) a good 25,000 words and replacing them with the same number of new ones plus another 10,000 for good measure. Even sections I didn’t significantly alter got moved around, sometimes dramatically, so that at times the process felt like being in a massive hedge maze, where turns […]

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