Saturday, March 5, 2011

CUT The FLUFF!




If you noticed the updated Read List on the left, you know I'm reading Beverly Connor. I was told by a very reputible source to read and glean all I can from her. She writes a tight story and keeps the reader on the edge of her seat.


I'm incorporating this newfound skill into HALLO, a suspenseful drama and my first WIP. I was aware it needed a lot of work, but my surprise came when I actually cinched up the writing by cutting words not needed. It seems like my editing always comes back to cutting. Before I started this crazytrain ride we call a literary career, I was under the impression fluff was good in writing. Turns out, the picture above only works in the corporate world. *snarky grin*


When I axed the redundency, the story began to wriggle with tension and had me wanting to know what happens next. I know that's a good sign. But what I think is good and what someone skilled thinks is good, isn't always the same. So...I sent my work to someone who was a previous editor and she gave me advice in the form of numbered suggestions (my favorite).  It was broken down into bite-sized peices and I tackled them one by one. I thought my lack of persistent editing was a weakness of mine. Another of those many character flaws. But truly, who wouldn't be overwhelmed by an 82K work novel? Seriously.


Now I'm down to 62K and that number is getting lower by the minute!! This is good and bad news. It means I have more room to insert the things I wanted to, but really didn't have the word space for. This requires actually inserting more "stuff", which means more work and possibly...more fluff. As hard as I'll try to steer away from the extra, I know it will inevitably rear its ugly head at some point. But, it happens to the best of us, right? Right!?


If anyone has some words of wisdom (or maybe some ego salve) about cutting an 82K word novel down to a 2-page 6th grade essay paper, I'm all ears. In the meantime, I'll be cutting away and hoping to come up with some great stuff (sans fluff) to fill in the gaping holes!!


Much writer support and love to you all out there in this same boat. It's no fun, but you know what they say..."No pain, no gain."

4 comments:

  1. When I began the editing process of my WIP which was 77k, I though I would be left with nothing by the time I was done. I started to concentrate on the story itseld and the parts that I really wanted told, characters that may have seem secondary and unimportant in the beginning begin to take on more importan roles as the sotry developed and needed a little of their story told, just enough for the reader to get to know them and why they are there. I realized I had left them hanging somewhere in the middle to the point where the reader would have asked "what happen to so and so..." heck, I was asking the question myself. Now my 77k is close to 79k and there is no doubt that when I go back to it again (it's now resting in a drawer)I will have to cut more "fluff" out.

    Good Luck!

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  2. I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award. Pop over to my page to see what you need to do

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  3. It's really funny... I finished the first draft of my novel at 77K. After months of editing and cutting A LOT (like whole chapters) and fixing what needed to be fixed, I ended up exactly back at 77K. I think wherever you end up at the end is where you're supposed to be :-)

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  4. Thank you Jessica!! My second blog award YAY!!

    Melissa,
    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I never thought of it that way, but you explain it in a way that seems to take some of the pressure off! LUV!! :)

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