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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Editing Is a State of Mind

Yesterday's slashing editing on "Where Power Lies" has reduced the manuscript by more than 1,000 words, and I'm only half way through it. I find it interesting on how my general mood influences my editing. I know that when I'm creating the manuscript, I try to get things down quickly with occasional slow-downs for important passages. On my first pass through, I try hard to make sure I'm conveying things clearly, and this ends up adding words. I also try to supply more imagery at this point, which also adds words. Searches for overused words can add or subtract length. An analogy to sculpting in clay just popped into my head, the notion of molding, modifying, removing clay or putting it back on.

At some point, I'm going to get totally sick of the story and want to move on. Hopefully, that coincides with the other sign of being "done," i.e.,  when I go to change something and realize that what was already there works better. That isn't to say I won't find things I wish I could change when I proof the galley (assuming my current publisher wants to pick up the book!) but that too is a matter of mood. The galley proof is about fixing format errors, spelling and punctuation, and adding the occasional word that mistakenly fell to the slashing edit--usually pronouns and articles I didn't intend to cut.

I feel good about the shortening length here, and I suspect I'll be right around 81,000 words by the time I'm done. For POD books, that's a good length, especially for a first in the series book. Does that mean I'll do a sequel to "Where Power Lies?" Maybe. I might even have a few ideas . . .

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