I don’t remember how many revision blogs I’ve written, but it feels like part 100 because I lost track long ago on how many drafts of my WIP I’ve been through now.
Revision dilemma for the day:
I never thought I’d be writing about “killing babies.” I knew *other* writers sometimes had to delete their favorite, carefully crafted sentences or scenes. But not me. My problem was fleshing out the bones in hopes of coming up with over 50,000 words when it was all said and done.
So how did I get to 69,000 words?? Yes, that’s right. After adding all the details and scenes my wonderful editor-mentors suggested, I now have to delete 30 pages.
This is the part where I have to question: What is this scene accomplishing? Is it necessary? What will the book lose if this scene were gone?
I’m also reading the whole book out loud and deleting repetitive descriptive words.
And so far these ideas have cut one whole page.
Any other ideas on slimming this monster down?
Revision Triumph of the Day:
I have a new first chapter the writers group likes. I’m hoping editors agree.
I’ve learned a lot the last three months, but this one is big: Write the first chapter last. I’ve been given this advice before but never followed it because I’d worked so hard on my first chapters in hopes of grabbing an editor’s interest; it seemed dumb to push the chapter I’d agonized over to chapter two or three.
I’m converted now.
Why write the first chapter last? Because by then you know what your character really wants and can start the book off by showing your readers what the conflict is going to be all about. And often the best books start out with a rifle over the mantle—the one that goes off in the climax. How can you know where to place the gun in the first chapter—how can you know what the “gun” of your story really is—if you haven’t written the climax yet?
Thanks again to all the smart people who are writing my book for me.
Question of the Day:
How do you go about killing your literary babies? How do you decide?