I find it interesting how thin the line can sometimes be between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ writing. Take ‘overwrought’ writing, for example, where nothing is said in a straightforward way and everything is elaborated with polysyllabic linguistic talent. On the one hand it can be very smug, self-indulgent and irritating, sounding like the writer is indulging too much in what they think is their own cleverness. On the other hand, with a subtle tweak, it can be whimsical, charming and sophisticated.

Looking through the parts of my book I’ve worked on the most, I’m worried I fall too much into the former category. So when I’ve finished my current draft I’m going to go through the whole thing with my red pen and wearing my ‘toning down’ hat. I can’t wear my ‘toning down’ hat yet because I’m currently wearing my ‘fleshing out’ and ‘fixing up’ hats, and there are only so many hats I can wear at the same time.

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