Saturday, 26 March 2011

WIP update time

Well, it's been a while, so I thought I'd talk about how I've been going with my revisions. I tend to focus a lot on word count, so let's start there.

There was a lovely moment when I was pretty much into the 103k numbers (considering I've been coming down from 147k, this is a serious achievement). My current goal is to get to 95k or less. But right now I'm back up to about 105k. Well, technically it's 105,754 in Scrivener, but in Word it'll be closer to a flat 105k. I've had depressing moments as the word count again began to climb, but it's all for the greater good.

I've added a scene, and I've rewritten a whole bunch of other scenes. I'm happier and happier with the manuscript, though I'm only about a third of the way through with this round of edits. I keep getting stuck on earlier chapters, namely when I think I'm done with a chapter only to decide last minute that I want to do just one more read through, just one!! before moving onto the next chapter. Sometimes I even go back a few chapters and start from there. Still, I'm slowly but surely making progress.

There have been other things getting in the way of my editing, such as:

  • Blogfests
  • Work
  • Social/family commitments
  • Procrastination

Okay, so that last one isn't really a valid "can't do anything about it!" excuse, but it's a part of my life that I never try to deny. I procrastinate, and I am fine with the fact. I would go insane if I didn't procrastinate sometimes. But I'm not so Zen about everything else, namely the climbing word count.

On the upside, I met some new folks over at Write-Brained who are in the same boat, so we've all been there to commiserate with each other. Some of those folks are suffering from my problem. Others have the opposite problem - that of too few words. I've never had a problem with too few words. Whether I'm writing an essay or a story, I will always end up with too many words. And this realisation has led me in recent times to begin stripping my writing of all needless excess. The result has been that sometimes I've stripped too much out, so that there isn't enough information in what's left. This of course leads to reader befuddlement. So, I haven't got the balance right yet, but for now I'm still focusing on that stripping out, and I'll get to the adding back in later, when I'm confident I can do so without bloviating overly (yep, still like to use that word occasionally :D).

SO, my current plan:

  1. Finish stripping extraneous crap
  2. Implement edits as per advice from ElitistCritiques comrades
  3. Print out the manuscript and do a paper edit
  4. Find some beta readers who want to read about rock stars and romance, and send them whatever the heck's left of my story
  5. Wait with sickeningly swishing stomach for return of crits from said betas.

And that about sums it up.


  1. Best of luck in reaching your goals. Sometimes nothing beats a scrutinizing paper edit.

  2. I like the revision stage, when you really get into the layers of the story, almost from the inside-out. Sounds like you've got a solid editing plan in place!

  3. Oh man, can I relate to the "just one more read-through" thing. Good luck with your edits, and cutting some words. I'm doing the same thing.

  4. The third novel in my trilogy is around 113k (shortened from 118k over the last two years). I still need to cut nearly 90k. But every time I open it and decide I will only delete, not add, things just don't work out. I love every scene in the novel.

    Shame, shame on me. In my defense, it is the 3rd novel, and I haven't even got a bite on the first. I guess I can love it all for a while longer :)

    Good luck with the edits. And don't worry about the procrastinating - its a valuable part of writing.

    Let me know if I can be of help when you're ready.


  5. Thanks guys - yeah, it's taking shape but it's pretty frustrating at times! Hehe.

    Donna, I will let you know when I'm ready :D

  6. Right now, 105k sounds pretty good to me! Congrats on cutting it down so much!

  7. Rock stars and romance! Sounds like fun! :D

    Man, this revision thing is so hard. (And now that I'm realizing how much I have left to do in the ms, I'm thinking I'll have too many words, too, even for fantasy... blech...)

    We'll have to keep the party going over at WriteBrained! :D

  8. Rachel, it's not up to about 108 again. :P Does that sound good? lol

    Alexandra, is hard. But I am glad not to be alone in it! Sorry to say I'm glad others are suffering too, but it's true :D


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