Eight pens total. Three hundred twelve sheets of paper, counting notes and instructions. One entire pad of sticky notes (I think there’s something like 300/pack, so that’s nothing to sneeze at). At least 20 freeze-pops, and 2 boxes of crackers. Countless cups of tea and wine.
What I am left with, after deleting three whole scenes, rewriting about thirty, cutting all unnecessary adjectives/adverbs/details, adding four scenes and tweaking, by god, every third word in this story, is a novel precisely 165 words longer than the one I finished two weeks ago.
It’s better. I know it’s better. (Christ on a pogo stick, it better be better. I actually have gray hairs now.) It reads smoother, the pace has a largely consistent climb to climax, there are no extraneous characters, dialogue, props, weather systems, kisses, whatever. There’s no randomness, no loose ends, no plot holes -well, that I can see, anyway: step the third, Sending Your Work To Your Betas, ought to take care of any lingering sense of confidence I have in this regard.
Carnage over. Clean-up time. *sigh*
I’m sure there’s something horribly ironic in the fact that I didn’t manage to gain or lose a single page in this experience. For every 1K words I deleted, I added 1K somewhere else, on and on, until my Typing Hell experience began to resemble a fairly vigorous tennis match.
Anyway. The lovey scenes have more oomph, the bloody scenes have more ow, the revealing scenes have more. . .um, something. I feel fairly accomplished. It’s not perfect – gods help me if I ever think that about one of my manuscripts for more than the 2 hours of elation that comes after typing THE END – but all in all, it’s not damn bad.
So overall – Holly’s One Pass method is a success, methinks. (link added for any of youse who may have missed my first few posts about this thing). I’ll wait until my betas have sliced, diced and fricasseed Song to be sure I did this right, but for now I will state with a fair amount of confidence that the pain and heartache was worth it. My right hand is permanently cramped and I’ve got a squint that won’t go away, plus aforementioned gray hairs…but in spite of the fact that page-count-wise I’m pretty much where I started (really, how the hell did that happen?), I’m pretty sure this is a much-improved book.
Now on to the UF that’s been doing the macarena all over my right hemisphere for the last few weeks. My agent says we’re officially submitting to publishers (eeeeek!), so a distraction is warranted.