Today I’m going hunting, but not over hill and dale. The last time I was aboard a horse I was swiftly unseated and I can take a hint.

The book is almost finished and I now have to face reading it, from the beginning and quietly putting to death its most egregious flaws. It isn’t fun.

‘You wrote that?’ I whisper to myself. ‘Laurie, what were you thinking?’

To make this task more palatable I usually combine it with a cliche-hunt. If I can catch even a few I’ll sleep better at night.

Cliches slip under the radar. Even the best of writers, people who you’d expect to avoid them like the plague , fail to notice them. Scanning for them is a colossal pain in the neck but, you know, it’s all in a day’s work.

In the course of today’s hunt I’ll also be keeping an eagle eye for longeurs, repetition and continuity bloopers.

I wear old clothes for this kind of work. Blood may be shed.

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