Sunday, July 8, 2018

WeWriWa: Trimming the Fat, My Personal Struggle with Editing . . .


My name is Nancy . . . and I’m a wordaholic. Yes. I admit it. I love words, the more the merrier. Until it’s time to start editing that WIP. It’s like trying to decide which of your children you’ll cut out of the will! “Yes, yes, I need that scene,” this author cried in despair, clutching it desperately to her dramatically heaving bosom. “It means everything to the plot!” Weeeeell, maybe not so much. <delete> Okay, only 10,000 more to go . . .

Such is my grim task with PRINCE OF DREAMS. I thought I’d find lots of fluff during my first read through. Sigh. Only 1,000 ditchable words. Only 35 more pages to trim. If all my scenes were as lean and mean as today’s snippet, I’d be up you know what creek! (dialog tags added to comply with number of sentences allowed. Extra fat added for flavor!)

“Do you still see them?” 

“My mom?” 

“And your brothers.” 

His voice dropped a gruff degree to admit, “Her, never enough but them, I’m always tripping over, especially now that some are here in New Orleans,” then catching himself before revealing more. 

Elbows on the table, she leaned forward, chin in her hands. “Are they like you?” 

“Tall or good looking?” 

“Nice,” she amended. 

He grinned. “They’re tall and good looking.”


Kip’s s family . . . that’s the root of the problem. I adore them. The interplay between him and his brothers . . . don’t get me waxing wordy poetic. Those scenes aren’t just informative, character builders, I can . . . and do argue with myself, they’re FUN to write and read! But can the book still rock without them? (she wonders, finding herself adding MORE into those interplays instead of Xing them).

Thank goodness for BETA readers who don’t suffer from that same separation anxiety. I can hear them now: “Put that flabby bastard on a treadmill and sweat that excess fat off!” Yikes. I’d better get busy . . . I can always put those precious scenes into, gulp, Extra Content. (sob!)

Half way through the first pass of edits and my 5-day weekend. Wish me luck!




Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.


Spread the word, share the love, warriors - Hashtag #8sunday.

34 comments:

  1. LOL That's where I was last week. Have fun with that hatchet...or scalpel. Good luck!

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    1. Chipper shredder? Almost done . . . but I'm sure another pass is in the near future.

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  2. And he avoided the nice part. Great snippet!

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    1. Hmmmm. Could be on purpose? Thanks, Jessica!

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  3. LOL, Nancy. Hilarious! And I must say I love Kip's family too...especially when those four brothers take the dance floor! ;)

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    1. Shame on you, Sandra. There'll be none of that (Yes, there will!).

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  4. Good luck with the editing! I enjoyed the snippet, a little too mean and lean for me, kinda close to talking-heads almost, probably because I wasn't happily reading along in the book itself (yet) and came to this passage as just part of the flow! Personally, I go with my gut on my books, not anyone else's. I have a great editor but I don't always listen to her LOL. I did LOVE his answer to the heroine in the snippet, really made me smile. Well done!

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    1. It's from a much more meaty scene but I loved the playfulness of it.

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  5. Love the hints about Kip’s family. As a fellow wordaholic I feel your pain!

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  6. One of the few books I've found useful about cutting words is The 10% Solution (Ken Rand and Patrick Swenson). I'm also deep in the muck of editing. I did most of my cutting during rewrites -- nearly 20K useless words gone. (Really bad first draft.)

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    1. Wow! I am not worthy! I'm only down 4K of the needed 8. Sigh.

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  7. Great snippet. It made me smile. And good luck with the editing! It can be painful!

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    1. And it doesn't even hurt so good! 2nd draft - DONE!

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  8. I don't like to cut scenes either. Good luck with the editing.

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    1. I don't thing of it as cutting. I "extra content"!

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  9. When I began my writing career and knew nothing about writing, words came to me in my sleep. rereading my books now, I'm bowled over by the well written stories. No editing just writing. Now, years later, I must contact my mentor, my son in Denmark. He corrects, offers changes and slowly my latest story grows. YIKES! It isn't easy. Best wishes always.

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    1. LOL! I hear you Charmaine! My hardest problem is making sure I don't re-use those words (after 70+ books, it's a struggle sometimes to find a new way!).

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    1. Thanks, Amy. I'm a screenplay writer at heart - say it all in dialogue.

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  11. Love the little details - elbows on the table. Great!
    Tweeted.

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  12. Clever dialogue! I chuckled. :)
    Good luck killing your darlings!

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    1. Thanks, Caitlin! Killing my darlings . . . That's sounds about right.

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  13. Loved the banter. His answer to the heroine made me smile.:)

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    1. They're s cute together. Sigh. Youth . . .

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  14. Love the dialogue. And wishing you all the best on editing!

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    1. Thanks!! Clutching at all those good wishes!

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  15. Ha! Very cute. Being called "nice" is the kiss of death, so I'm not surprised he avoided it.

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    1. And "nice" isn't a word I'd used to describe any of them!

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  16. Great dialogue - good luck with the editing. I actually have the opposite problem -I write 'short' and then have to flesh it out, which I think is probably easier!

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    1. Much easier! But that's what the rewrite stage is for, the + and -ing.

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  17. Haha! I love his answer--tall or good looking?

    Nice bit of dialogue. It flows well. :-)

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    1. Thanks, Teresa! I love it when the characters are more clever than I am. Makes the job easier.

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