Did I say I’ve been going through revisions for the last year? Because I’ve actually been going through additions.
While incorporating feedback to add “more of this” or “more of that,” I’ve fleshed out so many scenes, characters and feelings that my manuscript has ballooned to 98,000 words. That’s about 15K more than it was nine months ago, when I declared my story solid enough to approach agents. Now, of course, it’s more solid. But it’s also longer. Probably too long.
Based on other discussions we’ve had on this blog about word count, I’m shooting to come in at 80-85-90K. (My agent will help me determine my precise target.) Which means I have a lot of cutting to do.
I started that cutting tonight, and after removing a nine-page scene (double-spaced, that’s about 2,600 words), I wrote a note to my critique partner Peggy — who has a book coming out this summer! — complaining about how painful it was to kill my darlings.
She wrote back: “Remember, every cut makes it stronger.”
3 Replies to “Every cut makes your manuscript stronger”
I remember how cutting could be painful sometimes in journalism — and even then, it was the story of someone else, not my own, personal story.
No wonder you call them your darlings! …Keep at it! 🙂
Ugh, I used to die inside everytime an editor cut pieces of my story. But, it is true that my best pieces are ones that received multiple cuts. It hurts at first, but the content is most definitely stronger.
Keep cutting, Lexi! It’s going to be great!