All creative writing is more about getting the words and thoughts down on paper than dreaming up ideas in the vague mists of imagination. While it sounds so romantic to dream of beautiful scenes, and to create in one’s mind the characters whose loves and lives would embrace the world and sweep up the readers, the reality is much more mundane.

In truth it is taking each beautiful idea, each perfect blossom and then deciding where to put it, how it will fit with the others, what size it should be. Compare your words to the dance of colours and shapes of flowers. An armful of cut flowers lying on the table, waiting to be transformed into something creative, harmonious and, well romantic too. Each flower needs to be judged, put in place with the others, and then cut to the right length.

What, cut down to size! Yes, indeed, just as flowers in a vase need to be just the perfect length, so the editor needs to cut his words down, to trim them and measure them, size them up against the rest and then used in just the perfect position.

Then, when all that is done, it all needs to be checked again. Sort out the excess words like weeds, take out the bits that are too flowery, cut out the wastful bits, clean it all up and now, you may just be getting there.

So what it all comes down to is arranging, rearranging, cutting, adding – and editing.