Looking at the stack of pages before me, a stack which once contained 152K words but now contains 105K, I wonder if I can trim it just a little more. The query letter from the interested party asking if I could edit my book down to the coveted length of 100K has filled me with hope.
It seems my book would need another passover. I went through chapter 1 once more and was immediatly confronted with some editing casualties.
For one, I’ve really grown to hate my first chapter, not for it not being a fast paced action sequence with some solid character development. I’ve just read it so many times that it has come to lack the freshness it once had. I was even considering rewriting it just to freshen it up, but going over it once more aside from a few quickly fixed issues, I couldn’t find anything really wrong with it.
So I guess that’s less work for me, eh?
Of course this isn’t really easy. There were plenty of references that needed to be removed. One of our characters has been excised from the story completely, so I removed all references of her from the novel, after page 50. Somehow I forgot to get those references out of my first few chapters.
Another change was a subtle alteration of my lead. I thought it would be more interesting if he was more greedy in the beginning, making is transformation by the end more rewarding to the reader.
So what have these changes wrought? Is the book dropping in length? When I started this latest round of edits, the book was roughly 105,800 words long. Now it is 105,200, a loss of 600 words. I’ve got 16 more chapters to get through, more than enough to do some more chipping to make this sculpture more in line with what I want.
While my hatched job was done quickly, I expect this run through to happen at a more leisurely pace. What I aim to concentrate on isn’t length but dialogue, prose, and polishing out what little issues yet remain.
I must say I feel pretty good about now, and I hope, really really hope that this will be the last major run through of this book. It really has become like a child. You love them with all your heart, but that doesn’t stop them from being the occasional pain in the ass.