Better to remove than to add


Routerone editing technique
Routerone editing technique (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’m sure anyone who knows me, even someone who has read any of my posts in role-playing or even on this blog, can attest to, I’m long winded.  Yeah, I know.  I have a lot to say and I say it.  Cutting it down happens afterwards when I reread it to make it flow smoother and take out anything that really shouldn’t be there.  Part of this comes from the writer in me, another comes from the ‘easily distracted by interesting topics’ part of me, as for the rest of the time…let’s say that I was taught that to spread knowledge in whatever form when the opportunity presents itself.  So I do…

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, thank you!

Anyway, there’s one thing I’ve always read or heard from a variety of sources whether teachers, parents, friends, fellow writers, books, and the internet.  It’s easier to remove than to add.  Which is true because no matter how it hurts, if you have to take a carving knife to your story you do so because you can put what has been carved off goes to another folder labeled “Use in the next book” or something along those lines.

I’ve had plenty experience in having to wield the knife.  It hurts, makes it ache because sometimes you have to take out a truly wonderful scene that fits, but is ultimately unnecessary.  I had to do so with Memory Lane during a memory of when my main character was so drunk on the job that she almost got herself and her partner killed.  It was a fun romp through Italy.  Sadly, due to the near alcohol poisoning Alex had given herself, she truly didn’t have any memory of it.  So, how can she revisit it if it doesn’t exist?  She can’t so chop, chop goes the scene with tears flowing.  I still have it though.

Having to add to my manuscript has never come up because I haven’t made the word count.  Adding to adjust a scene, easy.  I always find that the additions improve it dramatically so that’s fine.  Adding just because the damn story isn’t long enough…new experience.

I am, literally, stumped at what else I can add to LwP.  It’s the curse of teaching myself to be straight and to the point, cut out what isn’t relevant or pure writing exercise.  Now, I haven’t added all the new additions that I’ve managed work in from changes to two chapters, changing the epilogue to a chapter then adding a completely different epilogue that really throws people for a loop (I hope) in the right way.  I’m betting, and I’ll find out for sure today, that I’ve gotten close to 35,000 words and that’s a high estimate (my luck I’m at 32,000).

So, taking both estimates into account, I’m guessing that somewhere, somehow, I’ll have to add at least 15,000 more words to the bloody thing.  The problem is, and this is another new experience by the way, is that I can’t fathom where to put it.  I’ve had suggestions from using the long memories of my immortals to my advantage to describing a few things that happened to the one that ended up in jail.  I’ve even gotten the helpful suggestion of using BS to fill it up.

The last one goes too much against my grain and from my training in writing.  Every word should be put to work and do so well.

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