Singer’s observation is simply irrefutable. Any committed writer will not only have boxes and boxes of printed-off and discarded drafts but endless digital folders of work in progress. Raymond Carver claimed to do up to thirty drafts of a story, and never fewer than ten. Tolstoy was always revising — right through to the galley-proof stage. And Yann Martel, author of the 2002 Booker Prize-winner, Life of Pi, is so bent on getting the words right that he is happy to finish a day’s work having written a page.
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