Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cutting words

Cutting words from my first draft! Necessary, but sometimes difficult. (Not that I'm that attached to them, it's just hard to decide what's essential AND streamline it so it's not clunky.)

For longer passages that are boring, overexplanatory, etc, I'm just going to rewrite instead of trying to cut words and rearrange sentences. Perhaps rewriting takes longer, but cutting and rearranging a lot at once is too stressful and confusing to me. It's much simpler just to start from a new blank page.

This includes chapter one. Not only is it long, boring, and lacking in dialogue (since she's mostly alone), but it's also the beginning, so it's super important to do the chapter well. Oh, and it's the first part of the first draft that I wrote, so the prose is just a bit...well, those things I listed in the previous paragraph. Boring and overexplanatory. Some of it's just plain bad.

So I just finished rewriting chapter one, bringing it down from 5445 words to 3799. That's a difference of 1646 words (30%). It's still kind of boring and wordy, because there's only narration and almost no dialogue. So the wordiness could still be pared down, though it might make the chapter super short. But, it's still much better than it was!

I did add a (brief) missing scene in a later chapter (still need to add more). But even counting that, the total manuscript is down to 133,589 from 135,375 - a decrease of 1786 words. (A whopping 1.3%!) It's a start...

Update 8/25/15: After editing chapter two, I'm down to 130,840 words, a decrease of 4535, or 3.4%. I'm finding the editing slower than I expected, but I'm hoping that won't last - either I'll get faster as I go, or the first draft will be less awful (and less tedious to edit) the further I get. Hopefully both.

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