Even as I was getting the latest book ready over the past few weeks, I still made an effort to split time among a few other ongoing projects.
On that list: a severe edit of the animated fantasy-comedy spec.
The previous draft had clocked in at 120 pages, which admittedly is kind of long, especially for an animated story.
So it had to not only be tightened up in regards to what’s on the page, but also the actual number of pages. Fifteen to twenty, while seemingly excessive, felt appropriate.
Armed with some exceptional notes and a strong idea of all the issues that needed addressing, I set to it.
The phrase “kill your darlings” played a significant role during this process. Several scenes I loved were, as pointed out by an extremely savvy reader, more of a distraction from the main storyline and were actually slowing down the read.
Highlight, delete, mourn their demise, move on.
A good number of scenes underwent a major overhaul, including severe tightening up, rephrasing of dialogue, and a whole lot of moving stuff around. Sometimes a change would be made that I didn’t realize needed to be made. That’s always a surprise.
All of this combined ended up cutting 14 pages, bringing the grand total down to 106. Not too bad.
From my perspective, what ended up being the biggest accomplishment was that the whole thing seemed stronger than before; more put-together. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this positive about a draft.
It’s been sent to the latest batch of readers, and I’ve no doubt they’ll do a bang-up job in finding faults and spotlighting what needs work. As they should, and that’s fine with me.
It’ll help the next draft be even better.
One thought on “Seeing some shine on that diamond in the rough”
Sounds like a great job in the hacking dept. It’s always painful when you have to lose some stuff you really like. I’m guessing you do what I do and put it in another folder, in the hopes that it might see the light of day in another project. Well–at least the stuff that isn’t so specific that it could only be used in your latest masterpiece!