Thursday, May 8, 2014

Gaining Weight

Progress on the final polish has been quite gratifying; nearly one month in, I'm more than one-fourth the way through the whole, doing bits of backtracking here and there, but mostly moving front-to-back in a blissfully (semi-)logical progression.  I *still* find myself having mini-wigs about continuity, and even have adjusted a few nuts and bolts here and there for tightness.  But for the most part, this survey mission is not so grueling a proposition as the last - far too slow - edit.

This evening I've finally hit that point where I had a somewhat less "mini" wig out about the whole project.  You have to have these, and I'm not gnashing my teeth and yelling at furbabies - but it's still a little scary contemplating word counts.

I'd slimmed the work down to 118,297, and it now stands at 126,741.  To my author's sensibilities, this is both good and bad:  we, The Great Unpublished, are fed a steady diet (even for historical fiction) that manuscripts MUST BE SHORT (or, translated more kindly, that "every single word must move the plot forward").  The million sources for advice to aspiring authors is to cut every last bit that isn't propelling the action; even culturally, we've developed a real allergy to exposition and description.

And yet, the agent who told me to "get back to work" told me that the object of this would be to get some meat on the bones.  To put food in the kitchen, as it were.

I had cut scenes to the point that "establishing shots" were the barest "we were in the work room" or "we were on our horses" - with no depth of feeling within the characters, or texture in the world.  Some works, it just ain't easy to trim down to 118.3k.  And so, it is gratifying to be able to go in and provide more, rather than less.

It's also nigh-impossible (even for a pragmatist) not to get a little giddy at the thought of going too far.

Nearly ten-thousand words, and I'm 1/4 the way through.  *Shudder*

But I'm 1/4 the way through.  Close, actually, to 1/3.


I just hope I'm not on the wrong ... track.  Heh.

Also - please, will someone tell me who approved its becoming May 8?  How is it May 8?

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