Confession: I haven’t given much thought to this month’s post. Since the beginning of October, my creative energy has been channeled into a second round of revisions for my agent.
The first rewrite was extensive. A change from two points of view to one, eliminating the main character’s mother and sister and moving her dad out of the picture, shortening, rearranging, and removing scenes. A major overhaul that took five nail-biting months.
This pass is minor in comparison, but equally important. Adding depth to the main character’s back story and motivation, rounding out the secondary character with information that was lost when I eliminated her viewpoint, and slowing the pacing in the last 50 pages. All taken care of.
My agent’s final suggestion was to go through the manuscript sentence-by-sentence and remove every word that doesn’t move the story forward. That includes duplicated information and those sneaky justs, verys, and reallys clogging my plot. In this read through, I’ve noticed that characters repeat themselves multiple times, hitting readers over the head with facts they already know.
The first round of revisions cut more than 21,000 words, creating a tighter, more streamlined plot. But word-by-word cuts have made my story stronger. I expect to send the manuscript to my agent by the end of next week. My fingers are crossed that I got it right this time.
If not, there’s always December.