Word-Count: The Hack-Writer’s Lament

Word Count: The Hack-Writer’s Lament

I know.

Get the word-count down.

It’s good for me? It’s what makes a good writer? Please.

Murder your darlings. You mean murder the story.

It would have been shorter if I’d had more time?

More time is not the problem. More time, and the story will be shaved away.

Word-count, you say. This is not about writing better. This is about the publisher’s sticker shock.

I’ll tell you what. Let me have the two hundred extra words. 200 x 40 cents = eighty dollars. I will give you the eighty dollars, if you will give me my story.

But I’m not going to say that. I’m going to set the latest print-out on my desk. In the morning, I will send you the piece, minus 200 words.

I’ll give you a skeleton,

Picked clean by the vultures of concision.

A. Bredenberg — 22 April 2019