Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Books Status Report

This is a pseudo-post because I haven't time for a real one.

I am unexpectedly cutting the manuscript of Every Last Secret at my editor's request. I should have known I was getting off too easily with those small changes. The way the length is figured has thrown me for a loop, however. Characters with spaces. Of course, my word processing program will figure that for me, along with word count. I've done this so many times that I can cut pages or words to order and estimate how well I've done fairly accurately. Not so with characters.

I do most of my revising on hard copy and then enter it in the computer--at least in fiction. When I cut words that way, I have a good idea as I'm going along in the hard copy where I'm standing. With characters, I'm flying blind. I've gone through the entire manuscript, cutting wherever possible. Now, I'm entering the changes. But I'm not sure I'll have cut enough and won't know until I've finished the whole process and have characters calculated.

It's a new process to learn. I suppose, several books on, I'll come to the place where I can cut in the hard copy and know pretty well how many characters I've managed to reduce. And of course, I've always found that cutting improves pretty much everything.

It would help if the city hadn't torn up my whole street and wasn't constantly shutting off my water while they work on whatever they work on, so I have to leave my house to write at coffee shops and libraries--any place where I'll have access to water during the day. I know I shouldn't complain since a few of my neighbors can't get their cars anywhere near their houses. At least, I'm not there.

Wishing you all happy writing! I'm entering cuts in the computer so I can eventually get back to the first draft of the new book. Later this week--an interview with poet, John Olivares Espinoza.

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