The rest of my darlings are safe . . . I'm done cutting for now.
I've gone from 120,084 words to 84,210, for a decrease of 35,874 words. Of course, the word count will continue to change as I continue to revise, but this is a good point to stop and take stock.
It took me about six months to write 120,000 words. It took four or five months to cut 35,000. The implication would seem to be that cutting is a lot harder than creating. I'll tell you what--it's a hell of a lot less fun. What's frustrating is that everyone focuses on how many words you've written as a way of measuring your accomplishment. Clarke said you had, what, 500,000 words of crap in you? What about the words you excise--don't those count toward your growth?A lot of people have a hard time grasping that I've been productive at all for the last five months, since my word count hasn't increased.
On the other hand, it really is a lot better now. So much of the stuff I cut was just crap. Stuff that, in hindsight, I'm not entirely sure why I wrote in the first place. Details, details, details. I am a detail-oriented person, but one thing I've learned is the difference between the telling detail and overwhelming the reader with minutae. Writing clichés be damned: sometimes you need to tell and not show.
I don't imagine I'm done by any stretch, but I'm finally down to a wordcount that is not totally unreasonable for YA, and that's something to celebrate.
Tomorrow, I hope to polish off my synopsis. I've got the bones of it done, but right now it's just a dry plot summary. I need to have it capture the feel of the book. After that, I'll focus on the material that agents are going to want to see in their partials. First thirty pages, first three chapters, whatever. I've got a week off coming up, so I should be in good shape to get that done. I'll also be trolling for beta readers, hopefully in the next week or so.
Revision Prep: Create a Revision Plan
10 hours ago