Omitting Needless Words

Tuesday, November 9

Photo taken by Ville Miettinen

Most of us want to write a novel. Some us may write fro kids while others target young adults. There's a big difference between an easy reader and a YA Fantasy; for one thing; size.
For the most part, we want to end up with a book that's around 250 pages. Which is why its disappointing when the rough draft comes out to be...40 pages, like my first rough draft (In size 12, Times New Roman).
For some, its only too easy to write Above and Beyond the Call of Duty and end up with rough drafts 700 pages in length. (Stephanie Meyer *cough*)
Others have a hard time thinking up enough events. And that's where the trouble begins.
The slower writers feel obliged to add any random scene and long-winded paragraphs, just so they can meet to word count goal. I'll admit, I've done this. But then I stumbled onto the best bit of writing advice I'd ever received:

Cut unnecessary'll never run out of ideas, so don't be afraid to let go of things.
-Todd Mitchell

And he's perfectly right.
Revision is mostly about hacking your novel to pieces and sewing it back together. Anything that doesn't belong needs to go.
If only it was that simple.
But, like most writers, we get attached. We fall in love with plot, with clever little aphorisms, with characters, with conflicts. And it hurts to let them go.
But let go we must.

4 comment(s):

Sananora Tuesday, November 09, 2010  

That's what happened in my first book, I added all this unnecessary stuff because I needed more pages. It really didn't work, I ended up with a 30 page book that was suppose to be a master piece...I'm getting better about that though. I've started tearing about that book.

Tessa Emily Hall ~ Christ is Write Wednesday, November 17, 2010  

This post is soooo true. I'm in the process of editing my novel, and I've found it really hard to let go of certain parts of my story. Although those scenes aren't necessary, I just want to keep them there.

"Revision is mostly about hacking your novel to pieces and sewing it back together." I love that quote.

Thanks for sharing this. I'm now a follower, and adding you to the list of great blogs on the side of my blog. =)

God bless,


Emerald Boa Wednesday, March 23, 2011  

Oh gods, yes. I just finished massacring the first draft of my first four chapters, and there was enough padding there to make a cushion. I've found a way to make the process easier, though: the removed sections go to another file, so I don't have to go through the agony of deletion. It's turning into a sort of Wall of Shame.

Panchrathna Gems Tuesday, January 24, 2017  

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