Progress: 128,553 words, Twelve Chapters (5 third Draft, 7 Second Draft)
Reductions have been made, friends.
I’m less than halfway through my third draft and have already reduced Chapter 1 to a single-scene prologue, and cut almost 14k words in total.
For some, this drop in weight may sound concerning, sickly even, but every deletion serves a purpose. This book is getting lean in an attempt to improve its overall silhouette, making it more desirable to publishers and readers alike.
Beyond creating a more streamlined Act 1, my editing focus is on rounding out characters, motivations, and strengthening each scene to feel both justified in its inclusion and generally entertaining. I’m reworking sentence structure so the writing is uniquely in my voice. I’m revisiting the dialogue so the characters are distinct, the accents are more delicate, and the interactions are genuine, yet dramatic.
Some scenes have been cut, some rewritten, others shored up. It is a truly difficult thing altering something that feels so concrete. Sometimes it feels like changing the wallpaper. Other times it feels like tearing down the wall, and I’ve seen enough HGTV and SyFy ghost shows to tell you the dangers of such bold renovation.
Hopefully, it all pays off, and I make a decent book good. If an external editor gets involved, I might just make a good book great.
I’m anxious to get to the next phase in this novel’s life, and have settled on finding an agent for this foray into the publishing dominion. A guide is necessary to keep me on the path and identify dangers camouflaged from my untrained eyes. The agent I work with may themselves be trailblazers, armed with nothing but a machete and canned beans, or they’ve completely graduated from jungle exploration, booking me a private jet to my destination instead.
Writing is a solitary experience, and I don’t often mind it, but some company could be nice as well. Perhaps the agent I find will become my teacher. Perhaps they will become my friend. Either way, having someone with me (in addition to all you wonderful, loyal, and supportive readers) on this journey will be a welcome change.
Happy writing, everyone!
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