June 8, 2009

Revising, revising, revising (or how to lose 17,000 words from your first draft)

So, when my editor said that the word count for my book was way too long, I wasn't precious about it. That's her job, after all, let her edit to her heart's content. Except it turns out it's me who has to choose those 17,000 words.

The first 10,000 were surprisingly easy. So many sloppy, longwinded or just plain unnecessary scenes. But after shortening, changing and just plain deleting all of those, I've still got 7000 words to go, and that means it's time to start making some hard decisions.

I know the book will be better for losing its flab, but I've reached the point where it's getting personal - anything I chop now is going to hurt a bit. Will I have to lose a character (the nice, quiet librarian with a secret penchant for punk? the bad-joke cracking Scottish maths teacher?)? Or cut a sub plot? Is there part of the back story we don't need to know? And why am I procrastinating here instead of working on it??

ETA - got the *(%&#^#$ thing down to 60,600 words before I had to admit defeat and send it back to my editor. Hopefully she'll be able to suggest some ruthless slashing and burning...

Every day is like Sunday

It's been so long between posts that I was tempted to delete everything to cover the trail of my blogging failure and start afresh.

It's not that anything terribly exciting's been keeping me away, either. In fact, quite the opposite: life has been so ho-hum that there hasn't really been anything worth writing about. But if I keep waiting for the excitement to happen I'll possibly never write another word again, so, for a little while at least, this blog will be a celebration of mundanity.

Unexciting things I've enjoyed lately:
  • Mr Fantapants's pumpkin scones
  • seeing photos of paintings from a friend's upcoming exhibition
  • knitting little jumpers and cardigans for small people I know (so quick, esp. w/ a chunkier yarn - almost instant gratification!)
  • snuggling up in front of the toasty heater on cold nights
  • getting back to the book (actually, that's been a little bit exciting).