Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Progress Report a.k.a. The Editing Blues

And so, as of last night at about 11:37, my WIP dropped about 15K words. Only another 13K or so to go before I’m just inside the estimated proper word length for a YA fantasy novel. *fanfare and processions*

I skimmed through the combined draft, and immediately I saw paragraphs that could be cut/revised, so it’s definitely possible. After going through what she’s been through, don’t tell my protagonist that anything is impossible. :P It’s kind of exciting. I had been having such a craving to write this week, despite my homework suffering, so maybe this will be the calm that lets me let my WIP take a backseat again for a little bit so I can not flunk out of college, thanks very much. Haha!

I’m looking forward to some revision, but I understand very well now that revisions are HARD! Some places make the workload a bit lighter; others scream with stubborness. In those places I really like what’s there and somehow it needs to be told. I’m afraid that if I cut it, I won’t find a better place to put it, and I’ll possibly lose the idea if I don’t at least store the entire section in another MSWord document. So it’s hard to make the word count go down. The most I’ll do is edit or cut a sentence or words here and there. It makes me think I’m making progress, but I know it’s a cop out. Although, it did help me drop about 3K words from one chapter. I guess it helps in a “slowly but surely” kind of way until I’m brave enough to let someone see and tell me to nix the whole shebang. *cringes at the thought* ;)

In other parts that were skyrocketing near the 15K zone for chapter length, I entirely rewrote scenes. That was painful! But no pain, no gain, right? It’s a learning process. I mentioned on my Facebook at one point about dropping the 3K words. My dad commented saying it was good that authors not get too attached to first drafts. Oh my was he off. I’m far too attached to the plot and characters as I’m sure many other authors are. The difficulty in the major editing, entirely reworking a scene, is finding something brief enough, but exciting enough. I have to still be happy with it, and it still has to be the story of these same characters. I don’t think  these guys mind quite how they end up locked up in a hostile world, just so long as I don’t actually put them to death…or do I ? o.O Then again, characters can be divas, even the shy ones, so what can ever really satisfy them?

Part of the problem may be that I’m trying to describe in words the images flying through my head. Now if I could just show my readers the images, it would knock off thousands of words. A picture tells a thousand words and all that jazz. Then again, I’d also end up a movie director rather than an author.

And in other writing news: my playwriting class is going really well! We’re reading scenes from our plays this week, and I’m about to flip out hardcore! I’m really happy with what I have so far, but it has its own dangers. A typical hour and a half play will probably have maybe upwards of 70 pages. Mine is in its completed rough draft and at 54 pages, which means to make it a full length play, it needs at least sixteen or so more pages of significant writing. Thing is, we’re at the point of learning to cut things out, so I’m anticipating a lot of red pen…which will only serve to make the play that much shorter! Yikes!

But I’ve got confidence in Charlie and her little world of players. God, I can’t wait for January and the equity readings! I’ve never had anything I’ve written read by many others and received feedback. Very nervous and very excited. Maybe I’ll feel less like puking by the end of the semester when I’ve had practice taking and giving critique. My professor sounds happy enough about where I am in terms of writing. After meeting with him, he mentioned specifically not to think about play length. Now that is out of my head. Back to the core information. Who knows? Maybe it’ll end up as a one act again. Or just a very short two act play. Whatever it is, I’m excited to finish it. My professor gave me a lot to think about for editing.

…Oh God. I’m gonna get torn apart on Friday. If not out loud, I’ll hear their minds churning. :-P

It’s all a matter for the future. Now is a matter for now. :)

To the MSWord futon!! (Schoolwork is for suckers! ;P )

P.S – I was cast in next spring’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Hippolyta, and I’m going to be assistant costume designer! Booyah for my reprieve in an otherwise hellishly fun and informative semester! *pompoms*

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