Friday Write-Day: Trimming the Fat


Manuscript: Beta has been difficult to deal with this week, in a sort of weird, roundabout, good way. I made my first major cuts from Manuscript: Alpha…

Yes, I took a formerly well-crafted, thoughtful scene, chopped it up into little pieces, and only left what was useful/needed. And I’m not even sure I’ve removed everything yet.

Novel Expectations

I feel as though I have been overly concerned with the length and breadth of my novel of late, and I’ve had to temper my own anxieties about it being too long or too dense. I have a descriptive writing style. I have trouble keeping these update posts to 500 words. Any detailed story in the vein of world-building has to be a bit longer in order to feel complete, and I need to remind myself of that a lot.

All the same, I get the feeling that I have very particular expectations for my fantasy novel that may differ from what Fantasy as a genre is in its current state. I constantly have to remind myself of the following truths:

  1. I am not writing a multi-book series about a specific set of characters or conflicts.
  2. Magic is not the underpinning driver of my stories.
  3. There are different — very different — stories I want to tell, even if they exist in the same world.

Am I reading the market wrong?

Anyway, as I proceed through the often-tedious task of revising my manuscript, it’s helpful to think about the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received from my alpha readers.

Yes, each of them had their critiques and even frustrations with Manuscript: Alpha of The Warden of Everfeld: Memento, but through our discussions I discovered that they were also very passionate about trying to help me make this story something beautiful and original. They each found pieces of my story that spoke to them, and they want those ideas to be realized almost as much as I do. I couldn’t have asked for better support.

These are the things I have to remember as I make the tough decision to cut 1,000 words from my story in one fell swoop. But, we move forward.

I wrote over 5,000 words this week, even after trimming the fat on previous sections and cutting out a full 1,000 words last night alone. With 37,000 words total so far, I am now in position to set off the primary conflict, and I’m sort of nervous. This introductions and build-up are done. It’s time to get things moving!

I just need to keep my eyes ahead to the original destination I had in mind for this story.

Goal for January 20: 45,000 words

Steve D

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