|Cutting with a chainsaw - It's editing time.
||[Jul. 1st, 2010|10:40 am]
Several writing projects have been set to the side at the moment as I've started attempting to trim down The Crimson Mask's word-count significantly. So far, so good, as I'm averaging 65 words per page, and at 247 pages, that's close to 16,000 words. Now, I'm only 20 pages in, and still at the beginning before I started worrying about word-count, so its possible my average will plummet near the end, but if it does hold up, we're talking about taking something that's around 145,000 words and reducing it to below 130,000, which should make representing the novel a little more appealing to agents. (Hopefully.)|
What I've been cutting hasn't been any of the story. I'm cutting extraneous details, adverbs that aren't important, and side actions that aren't important. I'm also attempting to say things with less words, when possible. I have a tendency to do adjective pairs when I write, because it makes the text flow better for me in my mind, but I've been focusing on cutting the pairs down to a single adjective.
Now, I don't think anyone's going to notice anything different. Generally, there's a kind of flow chart to whether or not I cut something. 1) "Is it necessary to the story?" - If yes, it stays. If no, then 2) "Does it develop the character in a non-redundant fashion?" - If yes, then it stays, if not, then 3) "Is it artistically important to the flow of the prose." If yes, then it's highlighted in blue text for later review and if not, then it gets cut. Obviously, it's more complicated than that, but that's the short version. Currently, the biggest thing I've cut was an entire paragraph where Ryjel contemplates the architecture of the Temple of the Lady in Red. That failed each question and was worth 77 words to boot. So away it went.
It should be noted the current word count still counts the blue text. Once I finish the document, I'm going to go through and cut out all the blue text, or at least the blue text that isn't 100% necessary and make an even more trimmed document. One I'm hoping will come out at under 120,000 words.