Monday, November 22, 2010

Balloon Popped: The Multiple Purposes of the Editing "Pin"

Faye Progress:
67915 / 90000 words. 75% done!

The cuts continue. Recently I posted that I cut a total of 31 pages from Faye to move the story along. It had gotten off the rails, and I needed to go back to the point where things jumped track and start again. Today, I realized that my derailment happened a lot farther back. To be exact, it happened 66 pages before those 31 pages I cut!

I debated the decision to cut over 19,000 words thoroughly. In fact, I finished the scene I was writing before juggling the merits of tying it back into the storyline or cutting it. My solution: keep some, cut the majority. So I've moved those 66 pages to a different document and will be spending the next couple of days reworking the flow of the story, taking snippets of those 66 pages and weaving them back into the story.

The hope, is that what took me 66 pages (and was probably going to take another 20-50 to reroute back on track) can be completed more efficiently in ten or less. It'll make the story stronger, the pacing smoother, and the character development more realistic. It'll also prevent my book from ballooning out of control.

Again, like with the first cuts, I feel good about this. I was dreading trying to trim this section down in edits, I was feeling a little nauseous about the direction of the story (in an unhappy-muse sort of way), and by taking the useful pieces of it, it means that all that work isn't a complete waste. So while today's progress was more sideways than forward, tomorrow's progress should be straightforward and true to the story.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

That takes a lot of courage. And a lot of hard work.

My problem is that my writing is too compressed. I set out to write a story and I end up writing a Reader's Digest summation of the story. Still struggling with this. Sigh.