Posts made in April, 2014

The Post Formerly Known as One Bite at a Time

The Post Formerly Known as One Bite at a Time

So ¬†originally, I had planned to name this post on editing/revising after the old saying: Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. But after some thought (not much really), I decided to change it. The title, while fitting for the methodology doesn’t match my analogy. See ¬†I routinely use too many words while writing. In my most recent WIP, I came in at 103,000 words. Now that isn’t crazy high for YA sci-fi. But it is outside the sweet spot. Add to that, I am currently an unpublished writer, so the farther outside the norm I am, the worse for my chances to attract an agent/editor. The problem is, I had been through four passes of the novel, and the feedback I was getting from CP’s and beta readers was that I needed to provide more details to characters and give more attention to world-building. By the time that was done, I logged in add a genre-threatening 107,000 words. Not good. Another pass shaved about a thousand words, but that still left me well over the mark. After some input from uber-freelance editor Chuck Sambuchino (Thanks Chuck!), I shaved about 2,000 words, but that still left me at 105,000–still, way too high. I took another pass using Chuck’s advice to eliminate scenes that did not: Further the plot Introduce or promotes characters and their arcs Establish the setting (which includes both the physical world building, but can also include things like establishing and furthering themes) Doing this left me staring at a 103,000 result. Better, but still frustrating. I believe in my novel’s concept. I believe in its characters and voice. But I felt like I needed to do everything I could to give my “baby” its best chance to succeed in this world. The problem was, I felt like I had done all I could do. Needless to say I was still frustrated. During college I managed a health food store. Around the first of the year–every year–I would have people come in and want something, a pill, drink, etc. that would help them get into shape. Our biggest seller was a pack of pills that on average resulted in weight loss of about ten pounds. Great, right? Not really. It contained a daily water pill. A water pill can take off most of that ten pounds without having to do much...

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