Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kill Your Darlings - Word Count Reduction

As requested by my agent, I just removed 10,000 words from my “untitled” manuscript. It is now 62,000 words (aka 200 word doc pages). You would think that removing words would be easier than writing them, but this isn’t necessarily true. It took me weeks to do this because I couldn’t just remove random words. And as I read through the manuscript, I’d find other things that needed to be added or clarified, which added words as I tried to reduce them.

There were several scenes or phrases that I adored but I had to get rid of them because they didn’t make sense to the overall story. I had a creative writing teacher in college that said as a writer you often have to “kill your darlings.” I kept thinking about that every time I hit delete.

But now it is done. And I HOPE this means I can move on to the next phase of the publishing process. But of course, I'm sure I’ll have to wait and wait and wait until that next phase comes.

In the meantime, I have begun a new writing project and I will now have more time to work on that. Details to follow…

1 comment:

Joyce said...

It's hard to let go of our beautiful words. But sometimes our favorite scenes have to be sacrificed for the greater good.

Sounds like you've been working hard recently. Congratulations and good luck with finding a publishing home. And a title!