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25 September 2008 @ 02:57 pm

God, but THE PRETENDER’S CROWN is a big book. I’ve gone through over 300 pages now (and cut 15 or 20. I’m hoping to discover, when I read my editor’s suggestions on things to cut, that she’s got *different* places to cut from. I don’t know that I can manage to strike the 100 pages that arcaedia/Jenn thinks would be ideal, but if I could get up to 50 or even *pipe dreams* 70, that would be fantastic), and I’ve just reached the enormously climactic scene that sets everything up for the second half of the book.

I am, though, going to have to write more. I need more from a specific character’s point of view, and I’ve just clued in to how to do it, I think. *pauses to take notes* I think they can be short-ish scenes, but I’m going to have to find a lot to chop in order to come up with, say, a net loss of 50 pages in the first 300ish.

I would really like to eat something nice. Ice cream, for example. Not even a lot, necessarily. Just some. But in the last two weeks I’ve lost 4.6 pounds, and there’s kind of no point in making myself start all this over again. *sigh* I also don’t know how long this is going to go on. Last time I went off sweets I declared it Lent, and went without for 40 days. Doing the same again this time would bring me up to my trip to South Carolina, where I intend on having a root beer float and damn the consequences, but aside from that it’s possible, even probable, that it’d be smart to keep on this up to Thanksgiving, at least, and then possibly have a piece of pie and then stay good until Christmas. In theory that’d be enough time that my sweet tooth might’ve given up and not be all that enthusiastic about fudge and other Christmas goodies.

…yeah. Right. :)

Ok. I need to get through another 40 pages today to be halfway through the manuscript. If I get through another 80, I’ll be…I don’t know. Really cool, or something. But I might have to settle for 40.

miles to Isengard: 363.8
ytd miles swum: 22.1

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: workingworking
Pamelajeditigger on September 25th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC)
How do you go about your editorial process? I find it agonizing, myself.
kitmizkit on September 25th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
Similarly. :)

I can only read so much in a day, because I stop actually editing and at best start reading, without paying very much attention to what I'm doing.

This is the first time I've ever really had to try to cut a lot, so I'm looking at scenes and trying to figure out if I can make another scene do the same thing more briefly. Two or three times that's been possible, so far. It's hard to do, because I LUFF MY WORDS, but I don't want the book to drag, either.

It's made more difficult in this book by the writing style of this series; it's much more intricate and slower than my other books, with lots of words where possibly fewer would do. The problem with cutting some of them is that, well, this is a stylistic choice, and if I prune back too far I'm taking away from part of what makes the story what it is.

Right now I'm hitting it all at the highest level I can. I've got the revision letter, which I've read and am taking notes on when I get to bits I remember, but later, I'll go through the manuscript a second time on a line by line basis according to the revision letter.

Interestingly, the actual revisions are pretty minor. It's just that I'm trying to cut--well, my agent wanted to see 100 pages cut from the first 250. As I said, if I can get 70 out, I'll feel like I've been pretty bloody successful. I think the book will be better for the cuts, and it helps to have somebody else's eyes on it suggesting places that can be shrunk down, but yes, in short, agonizing. :)
Pamela: Baby bear push!jeditigger on September 25th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
That just seems ... dude. Intense. I don't even know a word for it. 100 pages out of the first 250? Forty percent? Eeesh.

I'm asking because I've tried a few times to edit my novel and, as you say, I end up reading. Or getting out a machete and whacking away. :P All or nothing.

I'm sure in the end it'll be great, but...wow, welcome to labor pains. Hang in there.
kitmizkit on September 26th, 2008 08:58 am (UTC)
It's *hugely* easier to have somebody else's eyes on it to give guidance. I've gotten better at editing, but really, for me, I hand the book over to der agent and der editor when I can't see it anymore.

I can't take 100 pages out of the first 250. Well. I could, maybe, but it would completely eliminate the storyline that my editor asked for, so I'm really not that worried about it. :)
ruford42 on September 25th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
If you're struggling to make cuts and keep the stylistic choice, sounds like we should really start yelling for three more books now. :)

Though, now I'm curious -- is there an average number of times that a manuscript will pass between your agent, editor and self? I never really thought about an editorial review process including a literary agent before, but there's the obvious sense of having someone review it while keeping the marketability of a book or series first and foremost in mind.

So, is there some system of when you reach a given word count, review due date, or some other milestone -- such as a hair-pulling e-mail "OMG, I am stuck -- I know this should read better, please help me?!?!" Or some combination of all three, or something else altogether...

And after getting halfway dizzy just dealing with spreadsheets for two hours, starting to wonder how
you avoid going blind too! :)
sammywolsammywol on September 26th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
Sorbet can be a nice substitute for ice cream if you make it yourself. You can even serve it in a cone. It is not a no-sweet but it is not too bad calorie-wise and is certainly a lot less crazy fattening than ice-cream.

Well done on your 4.6 though. Good job!