Friday, May 20, 2011

Short. Sweet.

At its heftiest, my WIP came in at 128,119 words. Most middle grade novels run 40-60,000. For the Math Phobics and Lazyheads, Once We Were Bears clocked in two to three times over standard length.

So, yup, I've been working on paring mine down. First I deleted peripherial characters, (RIP FiveLeg, you sweet, mutant frog.) I slashed scenes better ones had parallel purposes. I excised, I truncated, I thinned. I clipped, sheared, mowed...

Oops, what I really I meant to say is: I cut.

And then I gave the whole, slightly trimmer beast to the Scribblerati, who made fantastic suggestions. And then...
Yes, and then I added.

So now I'm back to subtracting. I thought I had all the fluff out last time around. I was wrong; still finding lots of superfluous words and sentences. (No more scenes or chapters tho'.)

Apparently, I love the word "that." I use it all the time, unnecessarily.

Beryl thought that she'd rescued Fiveleg from the poisoned pool.
Beryl thought she'd rescued Fiveleg from the poisoned pool.

Today's word count: 110,933.
That's 17, 186 already gone.

Back to the scissors.


Mark Teats said...

FiveLeg?!?!?! No!!!
Nice post, Lisa.

Qlaudie said...

Impressive! And painful too, I'm sure.
Good pruning!

Jon said...

Cuts for size are the hardest. I think I cut 24,000 from mine. It was really tough. Good luck.

R.I.P. FiveLeg

Shawn Enderlin said...

hmmm... not sure where i'm at. looks like i'm sort of on target for 120K but that's right in the ballpark for high fantasy. so i won't have to prune at all! bwahaha!