How do you edit your work?

The author Dame Margaret Drabble wrote these handwritten notes while travelling in South East Asia researching for her 1991 novel The gates of ivory. The typescript sheet shows the stages of editing that her novel went through, with corrections and amendments made over and over until she felt the text was perfect. Authors of today working on computers should remember to save early versions of their writing; the process of creating a story is as important as the final product.

Dame Margaret was a judge in the 2009 BBC National Short Story Award.

Dame Margaret Drabble (b. 1939)
The gates of ivory, notebook and draft
England and Vietnam, ca 1989–1991

MS Add.9974, reproduced by kind permission of Dame Margaret Drabble

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