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If you followed a link here from a comment I made on somebody's google blog, I would love to have you visit my blog, but this is no longer it. While I may occasionally post things here again once in a long while, virtually all my content will be at from here on out. If you were curious enough to come this far, why not give me one more click?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who stuffed all this CRAP into my book?!

Seeing what's got to go and what can stay is a lot like looking at one of those gestalt pictures, or maybe one of those 3-D stereograms. I've been struggling with one of my chapters in particular for several days now--originally a 7,000-word beast of a chapter, now down a couple thousand words or so. So I made a sweep, looking for stuff I thought was boring or self-indulgent and pulling it, and shortened it by a fair bit, but I thought it was still too long, so I decided to look again. Now I see all sorts of stuff that really isn't moving the story forward that somehow I missed before. And it's weird, because I read the stuff a couple of times just looking for junk to cut, and somehow thought, "this is okay . . . this is okay" and then had a moment of "What the hell?! Am I seriously spending three paragraphs talking about this?!"

I don't know whether to be pleased or troubled. On the one hand, I'm finding this crap and removing it. On the other, the way I can miss it and then just have it snap into view later worries me. How much writing that bogs the plot down instead of advancing it am I not seeing? If I didn't have this pressure to get under a certain wordcount, would I just be blithely sending this off to agents and stuff?

As with staring at stereograms, looking for pointless prose to prune gives me a headache.


scottneb said...

I'm not interested in reading your crap, so get it all. :)

Can't wait for this to be finished. I'm sending all my spare good-vibes your way.

Joe Iriarte said...


Dayán Lorank said...

Could you tell me the 2 perceptions in the image of the duck...

Thank u very much...

I'm reading to you!!!


Joe Iriarte said...


That bottom image can be seen as a duck looking upward, or as a bunny looking forward. Think of the duck's beak as the bunny's ears.