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I wrote this piece two years ago, but it still holds true.

When you’re writing your latest novel you will at some point have to make changes to your plot. Even the simplest of stories is likely to need a necessary tweak here and there. But with a complex story-line, you can’t think of every scenario in advance that may pop into your head as you’re writing.

I tend to write by the seat of my pants, i.e., very little planning in advance and only a brief outline of the story. That means I will find many occasions to make changes. Take my current project as an example.

The Brittle Sea is halfway through completion of the first draft. I was getting close to finishing last year and had a beginning, a middle and the final scene at the end. And what did I fail to do? I failed to backup the hard drive on my PC because I thought Microsoft were doing it for me via the cloud – wrong! Twenty-four hours later and my hard drive died and I lost almost 40% of The Brittle Sea.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, surely the story was still in your head. It was, but when you start to write something you have already written or even where it’s just an idea, there is always the chance something different will emerge. Which is how The Brittle Sea’s main character went from a sea voyage of three months, to six months and then back to three months. But that’s fine. In fact, you should never be afraid to be ruthless and remove whole plots and sub-plots or characters if you’re not happy with they way they are performing.

I’ve been publishing chapters from The Brittle Sea on my blog since June and have had a lot of people read what’s been published so far, but I have pointed out that the story, characters, locations and other aspects of the story will and have changed. But that’s fine, because at the end of the day you have to be happy with what it is you publish and you can only hope your readers like it too.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2018


This is a first draft, so please forgive spelling & grammatical errors. Context and characters may change between now and the final publication date.

To read other extracts please click HERE and scroll down to see all available chapters.

If you wish to leave a comment, please do so at the foot of the page.

This book is intended for publication during the winter of 2018.

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