Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hello, World, Meet Eva

Psst! Edits are done!
Edits are done! Victory laps have yet to be made (my brain is still a little too mushy for wholehearted celebration). It's statistic time!

Because so much of writing a novel is invisible to all but the author (and the people who live with her), I really enjoy when I have quantitative stats.


I'm notorious for overwriting, which means each edit was as much about trimming as it was about refining the story.
  • Draft 1 = 124,615 words / 444 pages
  • Draft 2 = 120,887 words / 431 pages
  • Draft 3 = 119,771 words / 427 pages
Of course, my goal was to cut 10% from the original novel. While I've probably cut and rewritten over 30%, I didn't achieve the size reduction I wanted. I still have 7,617 words to cut. That translates to 17 words a page. Doable, but difficult. In reality, I'm expecting my trusted readers to point out scenes that go too long, and I can trim chunks first. I did a lot of chunk-editing this last round, but not enough.


As I pointed out earlier, the actual writing of the novel is one of the shortest parts of the process:
Story and Character Building
Days: 17 Time: 22 hours

Days: 24 Time: 26 hours

Days: 72 Time: 127 hours

Days: 63 Time: 95 hours

Total to Date
Days: 176 Time: 270 hours
Percentage of Time Spent on Eva's Novel That Didn't Involve Writing: 52%

Given that in the future I want to write 2-3 books a year, I'm really going to need to pick up the pace. But for now, I'm content. Averaging 1.5 hours a day on top of work and life is pretty good.

Yo. I'm ready to be critiqued.
The next step is a fun one for me: Sending the novel to my readers for feedback. I've polished the book; it's ready.

It's not perfect. I was sorely tempted to do another round of edits before showing it to anyone, but there comes a point where keeping the book to myself is counterproductive. I can do another round of edits when I implement changes. Because I know there'll be changes. Right now, the book feels done. The scenes feel complete.

But they're not. I know this from experience. I'm so close to my work, there are going to be things I'll miss that no matter how many times I read the novel. celebrate!  

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