Off to an earlier start today. I have a whiny kitty on my lap (well, now he’s purring; he was whining earlier), and I need breakfast, but I want to get one chapter done before I eat.
Mind you, this will be ‘breakfast’ at 11:15am. It’s not exactly an *early* start. Just much earlier than yesterday. But I did my pilates and went for a little walk, at least! :)
p 513 (original): I actually just said “Ooh yay!” out loud, as Betsy’s cut a paragraph or so out of this section, and I know it’s not something I’ve stricken myself.
p 465 (new): Hey, a page snipped out. Excellent. Of course, now I’ve reached the end of the chapter and have three quandries: one, I need food. Two, I am weighted down by a ten pound cat. Three, the other cat is outside the closed door meowing piteously. Whatever shall I do?
(I dislodged the cat.)
p 513 original, 483 new: Darn. Betsy’s cut didn’t take a whole page out.
p 479: ok, that’s taken a page out. In a way this scene could almost be entirely cut, but there’s one aspect to it that needs to be there for later. And I have to make it all read more smoothly, because the timeline’s too ragged. Probably if you’re not paying attention to the headers it’s not a problem, but if you are it gets awkward… *works slowly*
…there. I think that may be much better.
Well, a page cut. Just one, I think. I don’t seem to remember if the manuscript was at 687..yeah, and I cut one out of 19 and one out of 20. 685 pages. Gosh. Another 40 would mean I’d cut 10% of the whole manuscript.
Ooh. A little sneaky thought, unbidden, has just whispered to me, I love this book. I *certainly* love this *scene*. That’s a good thing. :)
Oh. Crap. I forgot to turn the page on the revision letter to keep following Betsy’s notes and now I’m like 70 pages off. Bah. Well, screw it. I’ve got to go through the manuscript again when this pass is done, so I’ll just deal with the stuff I’ve missed then. Grrr. But in going back over the nearest part, I cut down another scene and lost another page. I guess that’s something. 8 more lines would kill a third page, but…no. Not gonna happen.
Ok, really on to chapter 21 now.
This chapter is full of sentences that run one or two words over onto a second line. If I could strip those down to one line each I’d cut a page no problem. Except I *can’t*. :p
Hey, I’ve reached page 500. Fewer than 200 to go now. That… feels like a fair accomplishment. But no pages cut from this chapter.
…I’m now on page 522 of the new manuscript, which is page 555 of the old one. I still have nearly 200 pages to go. Why in God’s name did I write a book this big? I think if I can get to the new page 550 I might call it good for today.
On the positive side, I’ve restructured a scene a bit to clarify something Betsy felt like she should be getting, but wasn’t. This is one of the hard parts about writing, I guess. It’s all there in your mind, so it’s not always clear that it hasn’t gotten onto the page. I *know* that, and there are places in this book, particularly, where I’ve over-written to compensate for it. Fortunately, Betsy is happy to wield the Red Pencil Of Doom. :)
A page cut, by dribs and drabs. Another 20 revised–essentially another chapter, then–will be enough work for the day.
Gad. Cut a page by hook or by crook, although … oh, no. Good. The place where Betsy suggested adding something is in the next chapter. I win. :)
Ok. I am now on page 599 of the original manuscript and page 561 of the revised manuscript, which is now 680 pages long. 37 pages cut in total so far.
Forgot to post yesterday, so this will be the final two days of live-edits posting all as one. I have 116 pages left. It’s a quarter to ten in the morning, and I’m wearing shades.
p 568: *vague mumblings* This part sucks. It’s always been not-very-good. I think, though, that my brain has worn out. That’s invariably the problem with editing: by the time I reach the end of the book, I’m ceasing to care anymore. I need another 150 pages worth of enthusiasm, clear eyes and cleverness, but all I’ve got left is a resentful willingness to, you know, like, change a few words where I struck them out, and stuff.
And, y’know, I might just *do* that. I might go through this last part on the level I can handle right now, take tomorrow off completely, reprint the manuscript, and Tuesday come back to it and start with page 500 or so. That’d essentially let me pare down what can be pared, and then I can start adding again. Less needs doing to the first several hundred pages at this point, since I’ve managed a lot of it over the past five days, so if I can shake my brain a bit loose that might help.
Man. Writing is hard. Let’s go shopping.
p 583: …yeah. Mrgl. Not sure how much I like this chapter. Aspects of it do need to be rewritten, but I need to step a little further back and see what can be done. There’s at least one part I *do* like…
Heck fire. Managed to cut a page. I have a page goal in mind now, and if I can get down to it I’ll be pleased. Of course, then I’ll go back and add more in again, but I’m starting to have an idea of how long the finished manuscript might be….
12:02pm: this isn’t going as fast as I hoped it would. That may have something to do with having spent at least half an hour dorking around the house not working, but dammit, the book *should* have progressed during that time even if I wasn’t doing anything. Shouldn’t it have?
p 600: holy crap! page 600! I have fewer than 80 pages to go! And Betsy, bless her, cut a bit here, so between that and what I’ve rewritten I’ve dropped another page.
p 606: oh, *God*, I love this scene. And Betsy liked it too. This is one of those payoffs that as a writer makes going through hundreds of pages of text worth it. It hasn’t got the flawless inevitability of the 67 words in THE QUEEN’S BASTARD that I think are perfect, but *damn* I love this scene.
p 610: ooh! a page cut! I am one page away from my goal!
…actually, you know, there are parts of this book which quite work. (This is when my husband and mother both look at me in fond exasperation and say, “No, really?” But somehow it’s always a surprise to me.)
p 629: hah hah! a page cut! I have reached my goal! (I’d totally forgotten I’d taken out a two paragraph chunk here, but it makes for a muuuuch better section ending if I do.)
p 638: hm. kinda hoped I’d snip another page out there, but it was not to be. Also, now it’s 1pm and my tummy is going RARWGH so I’ll go feed myself before I finish up. Feed myself and the cats, who are being Patient at me. :)
Nothing like advanced flicking (doing one kind of work to avoid another kind) to put a girl behind schedule. I’ve just done a blog interview thingy, but now I have 67 minutes before I’m supposed to leave to go watch a movie, and 40 pages left to go. Will I make it?
p 644: Ooh, I cut another page!
p 706, original: and here I have come to the last of Betsy’s edits, with barely more than 20 pages of my own to go.
Oh, thank God, I am done. 675 pages, a reduction of 42 pages, or just under 6% of the entire manuscript length. I’ve probably actually cut 50 or so pages and written new material to make up for those 8 or so. Could even be more than that. Doesn’t matter.
Now, I said wearily, I get to re-print the whole damned thing in another font and start again at the end.
(x-posted from the essential kit)