Well, that's not true. It's really what one budgets the time to do. In addition to a very productive Wednesday Office Hours (DW), my main push this week was editing Book 1 Part A.
For me, at this level the word counts only go up. I am filling in blanks that had been left in the story, connecting scenes which have to be written, descriptions broadened, etc. In the last week, Book 1 expanded by 8%. But that's not the whole story. As the novel evolved and worked on the timeline, some things have changed or expanded since I first wrote them. The result is that a couple of locations and people are now mentioned earlier than they used to be. So descriptions and introductions have to be moved. But this primarily has meant moving them from Book 1 Part B into Book 1 Part A (with a few from Book 2). With the inevitable result that while the total Book 1 word count is still on track, the once pretty even split between Parts A and B is now heavily tilted towards Part A -- 100,505 words to 51,918 words. Ouch. There goes the attempt to keep each book/part to 80,000 words.
There currently is a natural break between Book 1 Part A and Part B. I could move the division earlier, but I'm not happy with that. Also, I have to get to the edits for Book 1 Part B to see how long that ultimately becomes. The next obvious thing to do is hack 20% off of Book 1 Part A, but it's story! It's words! It's my precious! (grin)
Yeah, I'm sure I'll have to be merciless later, when the Beta readers finally get it and start carping about parts which bore them, drag on or aren't necessary. But I'm the kind of writer who often when I move to cut words, ends up with a longer word count. Happened to several of my published short stories -- and the editors in those cases agreed with me that my edited down, i.e. longer, version was better. (evil-grin) A couple of my writing acquaintances, Ferrett Steinmetz and Martin Shoemaker, have been talking on Facebook about these massive cuts they've been inflicting on their stories, and I'm like -- how do you do that? I just can't find enough justs, haves, hads and thats to cut anything by 10%, let alone 20%. (that-grin)
So no hacking back with a machete just yet. Not until the whole first draft is done.
I'll tell you, though, it felt like I'd never get past file page 269. Spent days with the page counter stuck there, but this was because I was moving things around and changing scenes. Adding chapters. Yesterday I burst past page 272 and out to 339. Go me.
Still too many characters named Xxx. And one character had been named Stassen in some places and Stesson in others. The one with bigger numbers ended up winning. Another scene had been written in summer, but was now like April 3rd weather here in West Michigan -- sun, snows gone but nothing growing yet.
New Researches: Umanori hakama and andon hakama, worn over a kimono. Kamishimo worn by samurai and courtiers during the Edo period, the outfit included a formal kimono, hakama, and a sleeveless jacket with exaggerated shoulders called a kataginu. 2000 BMW E38 750iL Armored, with a 5.4L V12 engine also used in the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. Berlingske is the oldest Danish newspaper still published and among the oldest newspapers in the world. Selkirk is a Scottish name meaning manor church. King Willem-Alexander Claus George Ferdinand and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands are going to visit West Michigan in June 2015. (PERFECT!) Omaha is 500 miles from Chicago -- about the same as Copenhagen to Amsterdam. Denver is 1000 miles. Holland and Denmark have no common border. Whoops! There are no trams in Copenhagen anymore (1863-1972), they were thrown away. Thirty years later, a light-rail Metro system opened, the M1/M2. M3/M4 ring routes to open in 2019. Three-car trains have no one at the controls. Apparently the report that suggested getting rid of the trams was off and Copenhagen wishes they had efficient and frequent trams in the streets again. Sporvejen Byens Burger Bar is built to look like the inside of an antique tram car. Danish Modern furniture came out of the 1920s Bauhaus movement, hugely popular from after WW II to the 60s. And it turns out to be Totino's Pizza Rolls, not Tostino Pizza Rolls. Huh, who knew? (This is why you do Research, kids. Hey, I never bought 'em.) Also, they are not generally available in Canada, though I did find some people in 2011 who claimed that Wal-Mart sometimes had them. So, strike the ignorant "Tostino Pizza Rolls from Canada" mention. The Danish Long John cargo bicycle.
Less research needed this week because I'm editing and not writing as much new stuff. Naturally.
The shiny counters are up to:
Book 1 Page Edits (Pass 1)
The Lost Kingdom Project YA Trilogy Version 1.10 (04-03-15 Fr, 1188 pages)
UPDATE: Note that we have smashed through the 300,000 word barrier and I had hardly noticed. (grin)
Book 1 Part A (100,505 words, starts page 42) / Part B (51,918 words, starts page 368)
Book 2 Part A (73,090. words, starts page 40) / Part B (46,653 words, starts page 303)
Book 3 (starts page 40)
There are times when it seems hopeless, especially when you run across old clunky parts or heavy handed writing or a whole lot of characters named Xxx. But... the end of Book 1 Part A (1st pass) is in sight, and that's pretty exciting. Pass 2 will all be about the names and then Pass 3 should produce a completed First Draft. That's The Plan, anyway. It's the beginning of April. End of the month? Sure... why not? What could possibly go wrong?
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