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01 October 2008 @ 03:35 pm
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I am doing something New & Strange with this revision.

Typically when I’m working, I have Word’s display set to 85% of full size, and I have the style set to normal, so there are no particularly noticeable page breaks. I really loathe the print view, where each page is wholly separate. It throws off my mojo. But for this revision, that’s how I’m looking at the manuscript: one page at a time, and at 100% magnification.

I actually think it’s making a significant difference. It means I’m looking at a different screen, and one of the things I’ve come to notice is that when it comes to revisions and editing, changing the font, the line spacing, the margins, all of that, can really help, because my eyes are already accustomed to the patterns the words make in my usual viewing style and a different font/style/whatever means I have to look harder. So I genuinely think this change is making a difference, and that’s a good thing to remember for future revisions.

Chapter Five

page 100: in the original manuscript this was page 109. Already I feel accomplishful. :)

page 110: I am a consistent creature. I forgot to turn pages in the printout, but I’ve made the same cuts I did on paper. Go me.

Moop. 700+ pages is an awful lot of book to go through.

page 130 original/120 new: hrm. ok, this would be the place to add in a new Belinda scene, if I’m going to do that. Which I don’t yet know if I’m going to–might actually need editorial feedback on that decision. Or maybe when I get to re-reading the revised printout I’ll have an epiphany and know if I need to.

Aw. Got to the end of this chapter without striking any pages. No! I have managed to cut one. Yay! (It’s the little things, I tell you.)

Chapter Six:

Nip, tuck, WHACK WHACK WHACK. Three pages gone, but now to stitch what’s left back together. It might be lunchtime after that.

Ok, not bad. Cut three pages, only added one, and the scene’s better for it. Possibly it’d be better yet with a little more to it, but I think right now I’ll leave it as is and go have lunch. :)

Chapter Seven:

page 153: I repeat the earlier moop. Page 153 and I am *nowhere near* even the 1/3rd mark, much less anything more significant. Moop.

page 163: Ooh hoo. Okay. Are we ready, folks? This is the big chunk to be stricken. Again, it might get posted on the website as DVD extras, but essentially, it can be reduced to a couple of paragraphs without losing much in the way of story. Page count upon arriving at page 163: 705.

*drumroll please*

Pagecount after striking this stuff: 695. Aaaaand…voila. Even with the text revised so it’s all stitched together, I’m still at 695 pages.

Of course, that was by far the biggest chunk I could take out. On the positive side, it does mean I’ve cut, what, 24 pages out of the first 165. That’s not nearly as much as Jenn hoped for, but it’s *got* to tighten things up a bit. Go me!

Chapter 8

Ok, if I can cut even one page out of this I will be pleased. *snip, snip snip* Ooh! I did it! Yay! Think I can do two?

Oh look, it appears I can, as I’ve got another two pages crossed out here. *attempts to configure that into something coherent* Oh, look, again, this is the first place Betsy and I have both cut a substantial chunk.

Not bad. Down to 693 pages.

Chapter Nine:

page 200: A hundred pages so far today. Not bad, although I’m certainly not turning this in on Friday at this rate. Ok, time for a break and then I’ll come back and see if I can get this sucker down to 690 pages.

…oh, I love this scene. :)

page 210/231: this would be me freaking out because my printed manuscript goes from page 231 to page 259 without warning. Several seconds later, this would be me feeling foolish because that’s *Betsy’s* version of the manuscript, and she only sent the pages she marked up. Doh. :)

Darn. No pages cut from this chapter.

Chapter Ten

Tiny snips cut a page out. Also, hey, I passed the 1/3rd mark without even noticing. That’s rather nice!

End of day stats: manuscript length: 690 pages. Total pages cut so far: 27. I’ve quite literally cut 10% of the manuscript: on the original manuscript, Chapter 11 starts on page 275. On the revised manuscript, it starts on page 250.

…that’s quite good, actually. I’m quite pleased with that.

(x-posted from the essential kit)

 
 
Current Mood: groggybrain-mushy
 
 
 
All Over The Mapjemck on October 2nd, 2008 07:47 am (UTC)
This is fascinating - not least as an example of the different ways writers - and it would seem editors - work.

For a start, I have Word set to 151%. I've just tried 85% and argh! Has your Alaskan youth accustomed your eyes to gazing miles across endless vistas or something? I know I'm short-sighted but I'm not exactly Ms.Magoo. Oh and I like the page cuts of the print view. Don't ask me why, mind.

The notion of working to page counts is strange and alien. I work to word length - and having agreed that with my editor beforehand, generally come in at around 10% over in the first draft. Which I then cut in the revisions phase before the editors sees anything. Which is what I am currently doing with Blood in the Water, which is why your posts are fascinating me so.

Actually, I usually cut more than 10% but there's always stuff to add/rewrite so the overall loss comes out at around the 10% mark before the final draft.

These days, that is. I should point out that my first three books had a lot more cuts and rewrites as a result of astute editorial input, from which I learned huge amounts.

What's definitely the same is the satisfaction of cutting - as I did yesterday - 500 redundant/unnecessary words out of a 3500 word chunk. Leaving it leaner, fitter, better.

I also know the 'oh, woe, my beautiful words' feeling when coming across something that is all very fine of itself but no longer warrants its place in the script. Moop indeed.

Righty-ho, back to work!
kitmizkit on October 2nd, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
Oh, good, I am glad this is interesting to someone! :)

I like being able to see most of the page I'm working on, so the 85% view works for me. Also, my whole computer/keyboard setup is extremely unusual, so I may be closer to the screen in the first place... :)

*waves hands around* I typically work to wordcount too, but I guess in terms of revising and cutting it's easier for me to think in terms of pagecount. Cutting *pages* seems much larger to me than cutting *words*. I like the drama inherent therein. :)

This book came in Too Long. The editor wanted both of these books (QUEEN'S BASTARD and PRETENDER'S CROWN) to be around 125K. Ahahahaha. (I even said "ahahahahah" to her when she said it initially.) TQB came in at about 146K, which was okay (although technically the place where the original synopsis had TQB ending is 90K into the second book...). TPC is (or was) 180K, though, and that's rather a lot. I just couldn't see where to cut it immediately after finishing, so having gotten editorial revision suggestions and some time away from the manuscript, I've gained some perspective and can whack away at it. If I manage to cut a full 10% of the manuscript by the time I'm done with revisions and rewriting, I'll be *incredibly* pleased. And somewhat amazed... :)

Okay. Back to work for me, too. *zoomz*