On Shearing and Digging for Gold

Dear Future Publisher,

It’s update time.

I am about halfway through my first round of revisions.  There’s a lot of muck to sift through but it might be flecked with gold.  Now I just have to piece those valuable little flakes together into something substantial that shines.

The good news is I’ve been cutting a lot.  That’s always been really difficult for me – I get attached to my words, as all writers do, and I find it hard to press delete.  It’s getting easier.  I’m able to better see how to change and when to change and what to change than I was during the first round of edits for my other WIP.  I’m learning.  I see the path I need to take to make my writing better.  And sometimes (okay, often) that means cutting (I overwrite more frequently than I underwrite).  When I can see the difference cutting makes, when I can sense how much stronger it makes the whole piece, it becomes easier.  It becomes a necessary evil to shear away all that excess and get to the core that I know is buried inside.

It helps, too, that this manuscript is too long.  That means I have to be strict.  That means I knew going into edits that I would have to be severe with my words, would have to massacre my darlings.  There was too much.  Something had to go.

And so far, about halfway through this round of edits, I have lost 6000 words.  That is huge for me.  I’m hoping to get the manuscript close to 100,000 words, which means there’s still a long way to go (it is sitting at 116,000), but it’s heartening.  It’s a good start.  And the more I cut, the easier it gets.

Well, back into the trenches.  I’ve got some words to murder.




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