Saturday, June 16, 2012

Trimming the Fat, round 2

End of week 2!  Delete-o-Meter says:

MAN ALIVE, I am excited.  Here is what is blowing my mind: I am halfway to goal, halfway through the manuscript, and I have ripped out 11,000 words without hacking up the story.  Seriously.  I haven't deleted any scenes (though I've reduced a few down from pages to scant paragraphs), haven't axed any characters (though I've turned several to nameless NPCs), and the only change to the story itself has been *adding* clarity and a sprinkling of relevant backstory to the pot.  Holy crap.

I can remember lying and telling somebody that it was 135,000 words (instead of 149,000), and thinking "yeah, it's 135,000 all right - in that dystopian mirror-universe where I've murdered two secondary characters and chopped off the beginning in a fit of Procrustean pique."  Well, let me tell you, shame-filled past self: here in this universe, the sheriff and the shopkeeper have NOT been assassinated, Chapter One is still Chapter One (because that's where the story starts and everything goes to hell, dammit!), and Spock does not have a goatee.  And I am going to get this sucker down to 125,000, or so help me God, he will eat his Vulcan hat.

To be clear: that might not be the end of the road.  That 125,000 might need to come down further.  But if I can get this thing to where the presentation of the story is as good as the story itself, I will call it a job well done and be pleased to submit it for professional consideration.

Much love to all the NaNo campers out there in the meantime: all over the world, keyboards are wearing out in the genesis of fresh new stories, and the bookshelves will be better for it!

--Thank you, Fairy Godmother!
--Just call me F.G.M.  I hate excess verbiage.


  1. Good job! Keep it up. It is surprising how much excess words can be removed to trim down a work. I did that one day with a page from an earlier chapter, just to see how many words I could remove, and I was able to remove 50 and it read better. Congrats on your progress.

  2. Hey, thanks so much for the love - if the trim-job on my novel comes out as good as the one on your lovely locks, I will be pleased indeed!

    Also: I really wanted to post a comment on your Draculești post (cuz it's SUCH a cool awesome premise for a book!) but I can't get it to work - I can see the "Post Comment" link and click on it, but nothing happens, and there's no type-in-your-words-here field visible. If you haven't received any comments since the last time you changed your blog's skin/theme, you might want to look into it - I had the exact same problem here (didn't realize 'til somebody told me on Twitter) and messed and messed with it, and finally had to change the comments style from "Embedded" to this stupid "Full Page" thing here. Please let me know if it gets fixed - I would love to geek out about your book!