Friday 23 November 2012

Cut then cut again

I had to cut nearly 30,000 words from my manuscript on the advice of the editor’s report.

Where do I start?

I was worried that if I made all these cuts I would end up losing the story line, but I had no choice I had to follow my instinct, and hope that it would work out in the end. I re-read the story from start to finish (for about the tenth time) and decided the best way of doing it was to lose whole chapters at a time.

I cut three chapters out then realized they could reused again in any future sequels that I hoped would follow once my first published book had been a success.

The next stage was to cut whole segments out of another three chapters. After this I had cut 15,000 words in a stroke. I re-read the whole story once again and I must say it made a major improvement to the flow of the manuscript.

The book had suddenly become more exciting as the chapters that had been cut were there more for explanation than for excitement. In fact the more I cut the more I found the story developed. The story lines became focused on the characters and the dribble disappeared from each page.

The saying “less is more” became so true. The less there was the more the story became an action packed thriller.

In the end I was down to 70,000 words.

I next concentrated on the second recommendation which was to beef up the lead male character. I have three main people in my story, a young man and girl, plus an old lady and I wanted both the youngsters to be equals. I had unwittingly made the female more dominant and the male to impish. I had two choices; one was to make the female more girly, or secondly to make the male manlier.

The editor liked the female character a lot so I decided to leave her how she was and to beef up the male.
I let my imagination rip with manly zeal.  He was no longer a boy but a young man full of youthful hormones and with balls too.

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