ROW 80 Update for 11-27-2011

For the first time, I can actually say I completed ALL MY GOALS for this week… probably because I only gave myself one really nasty one… just to make sure I did it.

#1:  I finished the ever-elusive “Matt” scene.  This is one of those “big bang” scenes that really needs to work and read well.  It was originally too long – almost 7,000 words.  Now it is trim and lean and cut to 850 words.  I took out all the detail that everyone was finding confusing, and went just for the action.  I think it works much better.

#2:  I wanted to put a big dent in Jennifer Hubbard’s THE SECRET YEAR.   I am happy to say that I finished it.  I am trying to decide if I should do some kind of review on it or not… especially since it is the first book that I’ve actually managed to read cover to cover and not start something else in a long time.  Thinking about it.

I’m going to leave it simple again this week, maily because I am so derned close to being done with my novel, and also, I own a toy store, and you can guess how busy my weekend was.

So, here it goes…

1.  Do one final read for flow and readability.

2.  Save the final draft as a “definitive vision” (Maybe even get a copy printed for myself)

3:  Go back and edit another 4,000 words (The part about Matt cutting his hair) — it’s not as stupid as it sounds, really it’s not.  I love this scene!

At the moment, I am down to 110,000 words.  I had a soft goal to get it down to 100,000.  After the edit above, I expect to be around 106,000 which is pretty close.  Can I cut 6,000?  Maybe, but I’m not sure I want to.  The “Matt’s Hair” scene is the last part in the novel that doesn’t directly push the plot forward.  I think if I cut anything else, it will definitely be lacking.

Happy Row-ing!

Jennifer Eaton

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15 responses to “ROW 80 Update for 11-27-2011

  1. well done that was some tightening up you did – so difficult losing words and still keeping the essence intact – good job

    all best for this week

  2. Oh geesh – I somehow added 10k words to my manuscript during my second draft revisions. Hoping I can cut down, too. What’s your secret?

    Congrats on your goals this week!
    Gina

    • The secret is really hunkering down and honestly answering what is, and is not moving the story foreword. If it is not directly related to getting the main character from the beginning to the end, I cut it.

  3. Doing a happy dance for your from my stealth Row 80 Boat, Jennifer!

    Cutting that many words is an awesome feat. I’m certain the result is stellar. Especially with your Red Line to Gold Mine craft in play.

    I have some “ack” things niggling in my noggin about my Row 80 list–including determining how to get the Row 80 banner on my site (without pestering Brinda Berry). AND, posting a Row 80 update. And, sucking it up to look at my Row 80 list. Yup! Made the list. But, I am afraid to look at it. UPDATES TO FOLLOW. Next Sunday, b/c I don’t want to steal Brinda’s Web Presence stage on Wednesday.

    Cheers to a happy week, and a record-breaking season with your toy store.

  4. Jennette Marie Powell

    Congrats on pushing through the really tough goal! The same kind of issue has me hung up on this week’s ROW80 goals – I’m going to try to push through it this week! I’m with you on the cutting down, too. The book I’m revising started out at 150k, the current version is around 120k, and I’d like to get it shorter. Or at least keep it down to 120k while enhancing the emotion, which usually means adding words. Good luck with your rewrite!

    • Thanks, Marie. I’ve had the same issues. I’m trying to cut, but then I come across something that needs more emotion… and as you said, those edit pile up the word count. I do have a few more scenes I can trim down if I need to, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to 100,000, so I’m not really biting my nails about it anymore.

  5. I can only imagine how terrifying and exciting it could be to save something as “definitive,” but I love how it totally seals the deal. I’m really impressed by your work this week; 7000 down to 850 is not an easy task, so well done! Sometimes, you really do just have to go at those scenes with a sledgehammer and see what pieces are the strongest! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the edits go; best of luck to you on the rest of the week!

  6. A toy store — how exciting. Or, er, yikes! You’re doing so well — and I never have your problem, I always have the “I have to add 20,000 words to this” problem.

    • Ha! 20,000 words is a really good sitting for me. I am an “over-writer” I had something like 350,000 words when I finished my story and said “oops! I guess I need to chop this into 4-5 books” I wish I could think more concisely, but my stuff always ends up “Epic”.

  7. Sounds fantastic. Cutting stuff out is one of those tasks we must learn… (and so many avoid!) Kudos to you and wow… hope the business at the toy store is brisk while at the same time, I hope you get lots of writing done! Popping in from ROW80!~

  8. wow…you really edited the heck out of the scene…that’s my weakness – really paring things down

    • It was hideously hard. That one scene I have re-written at least a dozen times. It got longer and longer and more “deep”. Too deep, in fact.

      Now it is just jam packed action. I took out all the original dialog, and just put in a touch (I think it’s the three sentance talk between two characters) and then BAM! Here comes the fireworks!

      I actually re-wrote it like it was in my original draft, but better. Way Better.