• 05 May 2010
    The first draft of Hell’s Horizon was radically different to the finished book. Not only was the story a lot simpler, but the style was far more clumsy. I was 23 years old when I started work on the book, in September 1995, and I still had a LOT to learn about how to write. I know that young writers sometimes lose heart when they compare their work to that of their favourite authors, so I thought it might give them renewed hope if I gave them a look at what my work was like at an earlier, less polished stage. Therefore, I’m posting scans of the first three chapters of the original draft of Hell’s Horizon, written in September 1995.

    I’m sure that a lot of writers wince when they read through their early work, and are glad it was never put in front of the public. But I think it’s helpful to developing writers to let them know that we were once in the same position that they are. You don’t come into this world ready to write, with the skills needed to churn out a book as soon as you feel like doing so. You have to work hard, play around with styles and forms and ideas, and find your way. You learn and grow only by trying and failing, making mistakes and writing poorly. The following pages are piss-poor, but without them, I couldn’t have taken the story forward and developed it the way I did. These rough, rushed pages were the foundation stones for everything that followed.
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