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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Snip, Snip, Snip

I finished the first draft of my short story for Nocturne Bites on Sunday night. That was the goal, and though I had to push to reach it, I did succeed. I also thought that I was 2000 words over maximum word count and I'm like, okay, there are lots of places I can get, including an overly long fight scene in chapter 2, but 2000 words? That's like 14% of the story!

I wasn't quite frantic, but I was concerned. Mentally, I ran through the story, trying to think of places where I could do some major trimming. And then I glanced down at my notes, saw I'd remembered the word count wrong and breathed a sigh of relief. It's 10,000 to 15,000 words at just shy of 14,000, I'm okay. The really great thing? I can cut or add as much as I need without worrying about word count, not when I have this much room to maneuver. This ended up being a big yea!

Monday I did a read through of the story and made notes on things that jumped out at me as needing to be fixed. Normally when I write, I tend to reread and smooth before going forward, but this time I didn't do much of that--I just wrote forward. That left me with some rough transitions that need fixing.

Lots of them.

Chapter one was pretty polished since that was part of the submission package, so all that was required was a little tweak to fix a logic flaw. Chapter two, though, is the one that needs the most work. And the most cutting. So what did I do? I added instead.

All right, some of what I put in was to smooth things out and make it all flow better, but I should have cut more than I added. I didn't.

Today, I worked off hard copy and managed to cut 1500 words that needed to go. I don't know why I could cut on paper and not on screen, but sometimes writers need to play head games with themselves.