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,

  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 🙂

  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.

  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.

  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,

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

  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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