Monday, November 26, 2007

Work in Progress: "Adam Smith: the moral philosopher and his political economy"

I am working on the editor's comments on 'Adam Smith: the moral philosopher and his politcal economy' for Plagrave Macmillan.

The main problem is that the publisher wants a maximum of 100,000 words and my current count is 128,000. This means going through every page and taking out wordage, which is very painful as it affects some of the style, but also the substance. I am at Chapter 2 and have 'lost' all of 500 words! 12 chapters to go...

Perhaps I will get more ruthless as I get used to killing old friends.

Anybody with any advice is most welcome to share it with me.


Blogger Tim Worstall said...

Not so much book length advice, more articles. But I usually find I can hack 20% out pretty easily without changing the meaning. Simply getting rid of extraneous words, perhaps running a few clauses together (you can often drop words that way as you don't need so much of a construct to make each of them make sense individually). Also, we all rather like to emphasise....three examples of something say. Drop two of them.
Finally, switch from Latinate constructions to Anglo Saxon. Might not save on word count but the words tend to be shorter. What the publisher actually cares about is characters, not words.

3:51 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Thanks Tim

Something to think about.

Trouble is that the audience have expectations - they like long paragraphs, when I don't. Ive been joing pargraphs together, etc.

However, I'll give it a shot and see how it reads.


7:50 pm  

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