Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chopping Block

I have deleted a lot of stuff from the second draft. I have now gotten over the need to delete just about everything. I think the plot is in the right order. I need to add new scenes and still flesh things out, but the sequence of events is finally right. But let’s take a look at what I’m left with now, shall we?

First draft was 314 pages, 88,260 words long. Second draft, as it stands today, is 240 pages and 67,344 words long. This might look like I cut 74 pages. But really I’ve saved 43 of them in a lovely document titled “Extras.” This is the stuff that doesn’t fit right now, might not work, but I might be able to salvage later. Who knows, those pages might end up in the trash eventually, but I like that they are ready for me to plunk them back in if I can figure out where they best help the story.

Looking at chapters as they were numbered in the first draft, the order is sort of like this now: 1, 2, 14, 5, New, 7, 3, 17, 4, 6-10, 20-21, 11, 14, 12, 15, 22, 15-16, 24, 17-18, 19, 18, 23-33.

Do you see how those last ten chapters get to stay in their nice tidy order? Do you see how I had to wiggle the opening chapters around a bit to make the reader (aka agent) stick around long enough to get to those final chapters? Because the last thing you want to do is send an agent a book where you’re thinking, the first 200 pages are rather odd, but that last 100 is just perfect!

I have things in order. At least, enough of an order to move on. Now I have the time to add in more scenes, heighten the conflict, and deepen the characters. The fun just does not stop!

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