KINDRED: still waiting to hear from three agents, while I edit that word count down. Once the edit is complete, I plan to query more agents. But I’d like that wc to be as low as possible before I do. I didn’t think another line-by-line edit would accomplish much, but a couple of months with my mind completely on another project has given some objectivity.
WILLA: I completed Chapter 5 this morning, and did a word count on the ms. It’s already 16,500K. That’s too many words! Where did they all come from? I’m still in Act 1. Steady breath…. I need a few days to let the possibilities for Chapter 6 stew around in my brain, so I’ve printed out the five chapters and will do a hard copy edit (the best method I’ve found when it comes to cutting; I see things on the page that I’m blind to on the screen). By the time the edit’s done I should have a clear direction about what needs to happen in Chapter 6.
After a stretch of writing first draft, editing in hard copy is like being let out for recess! It’s work too, but on an entirely different level. Sort of like the difference between, say, applying paint to a masonite board already gessoed and sanded smooth… and cutting down the tree and feeding it through a shredder and gathering the bits and soaking them in water and stuffing them in a press and creating the board.
Or however masonite is made. I could take the time to research it, but there’s a stack of chapters waiting for me and my blue pen.
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