Sunday, September 25, 2005

Now comes the axe

I just took a word count of my manuscript. It currently has 2,334 words. That's after I tightened up as per Cyn's suggestions. Oh my gosh. I have to cut 834 words, about one-fourth of the manuscript. And I haven't even wrote an author's note. Is the author's note included in the 1,500 word limit? *bristling*

It needs an author's note. With so few words, there won't be any semblance of a story. Back to the writer's board.

5 comments:

Rose said...

Don't you hate being so limited. Wow, children books have so few words compared to novel writing...less words would be so hard for me...

Kim said...

That's a lot of slicing, but I know you can do it! Since you're writing this for a contest, this probably doesn't apply, but I've found that putting it away and coming back really helps me get over the pride behind those words. I've been in pruning mode myself this past week.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Don, I know how hard it seems to be able to cut so much but you will be suprised at how much tighter it will be when you are done.

I'm at the same point on revising my novel and just made a decision to cut 8 poems from the opening - yikes! But I know the story will be the better for it.

BTW, I responded to your questions over at my LJ.

Susan
www.livejournal.com/users/susanwrites

The Archivist said...

One great piece of advice that I read once was 'If you can cut a word out, cut it out'

rindambyers said...

Oh, Don! Now just think of me trying to create a quilt, with my precious, expensive, one-of-a-kind batik cottons in pieces and shreds on the floor and table with me crying because I've CUT all my hoarded treasures into worthless pieces and now am left without enough of that one special, absolutely the right color and pattern, now no-longer-in-stock fabric to finish the work....

I'm just trying to make you feel a little more confident now as to working with words instead of fabric! I don't mind cutting with words so much, after trying to sew an original quilt. Words are so concretae, always there, masses of richness always available! And I can keep the rough drafts and all. I can always go back and refigure or reuse things from rough drafts or just cut out another one. I wish it were that way with fabrics. It HURTS me physically sometimes to cut a precious perfect piece and slwoly watch it dwindle.

THAT's when I go back to cutting up my manuscripts! I feel SO MUCH better and safer working with the words after struggling with the fabric! But that's me, and I know most writers aren't sewers, and so probably my method for dealing with revision fear isn't going to work for everyone, but I thought you'd enjoy knowing anyway!

P.S. I use colored pens and tape and scissors too, when I cut up my manuscripts. Great fun!