Last night, I finished the One Pass Revision. It was a great feeling to have plowed through the entire manuscript and made it better, closer to my vision of the story. My writing partner, C, asked if it hurt to cut parts of it. I told her that yeah — at first, it did hurt. All those words. All the lovely descriptions, the great dialogue, the emotions. But early on I recalled that Holly Lisle said that a scene must move the story forward, contain conflict, characters we care about. So…held against that, a great many scenes made it to the chopping block. I had a lot of extraneous stuff. I had put it in there as I went, thinking it might be good, but no. Some of it had to go. And with that knowledge, I’d freed myself to do what needed to be done.
My final answer? Exhilarating. It felt wonderful. It felt good to be making the book tighter, better, closer to publishable. I’m completely jazzed about this. I haven’t been this excited in a really long time.
So today I’m taking off from Pirouette. I might just catch up on stuff I’d neglected, or work on Hereafter. Or, quite possibly, not write at all. I finished a day early, and could use a day off. It’s been intense, and I need to recharge the batteries.
So what’s the next step? Reading through the manuscript, double checking my decisions on scenes, expanding where its needed, condensing if it needs it. I have a few major, global changes I need to implement before I do the type in. Alot of things occurred to me late in the process. Like, for an example, towards the end I missed something very important to the overall story. It needs to be in there. Not going to say what, as it’s a spoiler and I don’t want to spoil anyone who might want to read it, or read it on the shelves (optimism, optimism!). 😉 So I have to figure out how that’s going to work and also where and when these things should be added. Shouldn’t be too difficult once I make some decisions.
Just did some quick math. The first draft was 399,915 words (!). Iiieeeeee. Yeah, I’m verbose. I ended up cutting alot, and rewriting it from scratch. That came in at 192,000 words. Still too long, but about half as long, give or take. I don’t have a new tally on what I rewrote in revision yet, but if you add the final counts of both drafts together, you get… 591,915 words. *faints* Half a million. Four years. That’s alot of work. But I believe in the story, now more than ever, and I will see it to completion and hopefully publication.
So I’m one step closer to making my dream a reality. It’s been an exhilerating experience so far.