The woes of editing…

Writing is rewriting… or so I’ve heard it said. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The first draft of Winter was around 80,000 words. The second draft grew to about 118,000 words. I was proud of that. There’s something about making things bigger that seems… well, grand. Winter stayed that size for a long time.

Then finally someone got it through my thick skull that a lot of those words were unnecessary fluff. So I started hacking. 10,000 words hit the floor.

Now I’m doing it again at the hands of two very vicious editors. 😉 I’m fixing some known problems and cutting even more fluff. There’s still a lot to do, but already I’m down to about 103,000 words. I don’t think it’s going to shrink too much more from that.

Do the math. That’s 15,000 words of fluff. FIFTEEN THOUSAND.

Seriously though, my editors are doing a fantastic job and they truly believe in my story. They’re helping me hone my skills in a way I’ve never had before. What I’m learning I can take into my next book, and maybe I won’t put so much drivel in it. Thank you Kristen Steiffel and Kat Heckenbach.

But what saddens me the most about this editing process, is that whole scenes have been removed. Some are quite fun, but have nothing to do with the main story. Some are just drawn out descriptions and can be rather painful to endure. But it’s the characters that were cut that I grieve the most. These are characters not essential to the story or who originally had larger roles in some of those meaningless scenes. Now that their scenes are gone, they have to be removed to avoid confusion. One character will make it back into the next book, at least. But some may never see another word.

Don’t worry. I’ve saved every draft I’ve made. The scenes remain preserved. So perhaps I’ll post a few of these “deleted scenes” for you to enjoy. Maybe I can get away with it before the book is released. I’ll check with my publisher. But if not, I will certainly give you some “deleted scenes” this summer.

-k

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3 thoughts on “The woes of editing…”

  1. Oh, I know this feeling. I had Cat and Kat shred Ocilla. I lost 12,000 words of fluffy. I actually lost more but added as I went. I feel your pain, Iguana.

  2. The one I’ve done the most slash and burn on is Forger. I had two chapters that were gradually whittled down and finally entirely axed. They were mostly dialogue, but had some fun character play-off. Yet to be honest, I was relieved when I finally dropped the last sections of it. By then I knew that it all needed to go. I’ve rearranged scenes, axed characters and engaged in serious hacking, so I know the attachment and pain. But yet, I regret none of it – my stories are better for it. Some of the characters that were completely dropped from my series actually have found homes in new book ideas, so fear not. It may not be as final as you think.

  3. Hack, hack, hack…

    Hey, I’m paying it forward :). I’ve had hackers of my own, and it has benefited me greatly! My manuscript has also dropped from about 114,000 words down to about 96,000! So, I know the feeling, Keven. And you’re welcome–yes, I do believe in the story. And the story is what people will GET now :).

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