Jan 23, 2012

Revision wars: From One Battle to the Next

Battle #1 ended with a peace treaty – and a promise to take up arms once more after I’ve figured out the exact direction in which I want the last 10 chapters to go.
Original version: 72,084 words
Present version: 82,542 words

Battle #2 begins today with a day of plotting. Novel #6 was one of those novels I just sat down and wrote. Its fast paced, it’s hard hitting… its way too short (Just like #5 was).

This is the second pass at revising this novel. The first pass took the novel from 77,459-words all the way down to 51,206-words…. mostly because I decided it needed a whole new ending and so got rid of about 16 chapters.

Mostly, this puts me back a month or two on my original schedule for finishing it. and all that does (really) is irk me – because I love my schedules.

So today is all about plotting out the new ending in my head and making sure that the first half of the book accurately sets up the new second half.

How about you? What are you up to today? Drafting? Revising? Rewriting? Or some good old fashion reading?
Someday I’ll get back into a normal blogging schedule!

3 comments:

  1. Sorry about all the chapters you had to cut. :(

    I'm in the I'm-not-panicking-mode-really-I'm-not mode. I'm working on a short that's missing something in the middle. But I have no idea what it's missing.... ACK!

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  2. It's tough to cut so many words! I had to do that on my last novel. Good luck on your rewrite!

    I'm taking myself a little break tonight! I have not written or revised one word and it's been awhile since I haven't done that (a couple of weeks or so straight). I've been killing myself. :)

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  3. I haven't been able to work up to a novel and mostly stick with short pieces (poetry and short story). Night before last I worked on editing a story down. I want to enter it into a contest that requires stories of 2000 words or less. Mine was 3300. I passed through it six times and it is now 1999. I'll need to go a little further with it and get it down to about 1950.

    Here's the thing: I actually enjoyed tightening in this way. It felt like trimming fat and being left with a very lean piece of writing that was more effective than my original version. It is different, for sure, but I like it better now.

    I think it was Stephen King who suggested cutting 20% from any manuscript. I'm not sure he does that, but it had been a fun and useful tool for me.

    Good luck with your revisions. Tough work, for sure.

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