Mar

25

2006

cutting frenzy

Filed under: writing

I’ll come back to the sexual tension thing later, I think. I’ve left that novel aside for a couple days.

This weekend, my project is to cut 10-20,000 words from my 90,000-word mainstream novel, in order to submit it to a publisher who wants a shorter story with more focus on the romance.

So far I’ve gone through about about a third of the book, and I’ve cut 37 pages, 6600 words. Whole chapters are going out the window. I keep on giggling with wild abandon as I cut lines that I love, secondary character development, subplots.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! Die book die die die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(I’m keeping the llamas, though.)

Update 10 pm: I’ve now cut 82 pages, 15,028 words.


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  1. Oh Julie, don’t!!!!!!!! I already feel like an axe-murderer!! Finished wip draft today and have 6000 words to cut. Horrid. Wish I could attack it with such evident enjoyment as you are!! Good luck this weekend and happy cutting!!!
    Best wishes,
    Mags

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  2. Are you really enjoying this or is there a smidgen of irony to be detected here? That’s a lot of chopping to do.

    One of my regular clients recently gave me a copywriting job. 3000 words. I submitted it. He changed his mind. Too long. Could I make it 1500 words? Sure. I chopped, re-wrote and jiggled things about. Re-submitted. Hmmm… no, it’s too short. Could I bring it back up to 2000 words? Sure. At this point the smile in my voice is starting to deteriorate somewhat, but I’m a professional (or, at least, I like to think I am) and part of my job is to keep the client happy. After the third submission and a “I actually think we’ll go with the first draft after all”, that’s when I could have quite happily punched him on the nose. Do these people have any idea how long all this chopping and re-writing actually takes?

    Ok, rant over. Good luck :)

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  3. I am supposed to be chopping around 10,000 from my WIP, and I had planned to do a chunk of it this weekend. Unfortunately I have been diverted by the need to fix a minor problem with the motorbike (blown brake light – sorted) and to devise something “sparkly” to wear, all so that I can attend some or other book launch in Reading at the end of the week (a review of my existing wardrobe suggested to me that I don’t really do sparkly).

    Tomorrow I wield the blue pencil, then. I’ll see your kept llamas and raise you a retained elephant.

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  4. Cutting is fun. Cutting is theraputic. YOu learnt a lot by cutting a novel down.

    Kate and I had to do this with The Lady Soldier — it was more a case of cut 30k and put 15 k back. But hey, it sold.
    I also did this with The Marriage Inheritance — from 55k to 35k in a week.

    It is a valuiable skill to learn.

    Fingers crossed the editor loves the new version.

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  5. Hey, Stephen, I’ve got an elephant at the end of my wip! If Julie is keeping her llamas, I am determined to keep my elephant, cutting or no cutting!

    Enjoy the sparkly bit. Have a fab launch, Julie, I’ll be thinking of you.

    Best wishes,
    Mags

    Reply

  6. Plastic surgery on your baby!!! Ack! Thankfully I have never written a book too long. :-)

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  7. Now I’m with Michelle, here. When you know why you’re doing it, and you WANT to do it, cutting is extremely therapeutic and fun.

    But then I LIKE treating a story like a jigsaw and fitting it together, so cutting chunks out and making new links is a pleasant pastime for me.

    But you definitely have to keep the llamas.

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