Elaine Ash on Maintaining Intensity in Her Writing Through Ruthless Editing - video

Author and professional book editor Elaine Ash is known for edginess in her writing. Under the pen name "Anonymous-9", Ash writes award-winning hard-boiled fiction that is gritty and graphic. Reviewers have said of her work, "A9 has the most unusual, vivid, colorful, complicated, and freaking fun imagination you are ever likely to come across in your lifetime." How does she maintain this intensity? Through ruthless editing. Ash's initial drafts come in at around 100,000 words, which she cuts down to about 50,000 words. If you deconstruct one of her novels, she says, you'll see more plot points per page than the average novel. This approach gives the reader the pulse-pounding reactions and twists and turns that keep them engaged. Ash advises other writers to be sure to find the right balance of plot, characters, and dialogue, as none of these elements can be sacrificed.

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