does not describe me fully
it is where to start

Sunday, September 25, 2011

10% or Bust!

When I edit, I usually follow the Stephen King 10% rule.

2nd Draft = (1st Draft – 10%)

A funny thing has happened so far in my novel editing.

I eliminated a third of what was in my first draft. A third! Mostly, that was back story at the beginning of the novel.

Then I inserted new text, primarily for deeper exploration of character. The outcome? My second draft is now 25% longer than the original draft! Definitely not following the Stephen King 10% rule, eh?

Well, yes, but the edit is not yet complete. What I do know is that the Stephen King rule has made me ruthless about assessing whether a passage is critical for the forward progress of the novel. And it is amazing how creative one can get about communicating the essence of a character and/or action when the goal is to reduce and reduce and reduce.

Yet, right now, my second draft is 25% longer rather than 10% shorter than the first draft.

I won’t beat up on myself yet. This is an unfolding story. There will be more rounds of 10% reductions.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

As We Remember 9/11

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.... The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Rewrite

The novel rewrite has begun. All I can say is that if the rest of the draft manuscript needs as much work as the first chapter, I am in trouble.

Perhaps, though, I should cut myself some slack. This is the first chapter, after all. It was written well before I had a comprehensive sense of what the final product would be. Now, with the novel’s first draft completed, I can evaluate the all-important first chapter to see if it sends the right signals and to make sure it is not loaded with back story. I can also incorporate nuances about my characters, which have been revealed to me through the process of writing the novel itself. The time lines may be different than first envisioned. Etc. etc. and etc.

So, I will remain relatively scarce from the blogosphere far longer than I had anticipated. I will keep reading your blogs and, time permitting, occasionally comment. On a biweekly basis, I will drop in here with a post.

Now, back to work.