By page 300 of Hideo Yokoyama’s novel Six Four, I was getting weary. “Where’s the editor?” I kept thinking. “Didn’t someone have the courage to tell this guy his story isn’t working?
The questions of a book critic and a manuscript editor are sometimes the same ones. It was true as I prepared my review of Yokoyama’s big bestseller for the pages of the Los Angeles Review of Books. You can read my review by going here.
I found myself shifting gears and thinking of Yokoyama’s book as I would about my clients. ( To find out about my editing services, visit here for more information.)
The normal reaction of many manuscript editors — confronted by 500+ pages — is a simple one: Cut, cut, cut. Any novel that crosses the 300-page threshold is liable to sell poorly (that’s what some think, at any rate) unless it happens to have been written by J.K. Rowling or E.L. James.