It seems I’ve turned into something of a Monday-only poster.I blame the holidays. (I could pick any number of things, but the holiday season is an easy target, as it’s generally responsible for every other delay and stress in my life this time of year.) I’ll try to fix that.
Anyway. I finished the first major rewrite of my revision this weekend: Chapters 3 and 4 had to go, and I needed something else –something action-y, fast-paced and badass with nice tie-ins to stuff happening down the road– to take their place.
It was supposed to be shorter. Going from adult epic fantasy to YA epic fantasy — my aim is to shave some 10 to 15K off the original word count. I know it’s not a strict requirement. YA epic seems to be a little longer than other YA-. But still, it seems like a worthy goal.
I should have known better. I can barely clear my throat in 10K. The first draft of this book was 140K.
I got started, hit my stride on the voice (a major relief, as I wrote this book over three years ago and I wasn’t all that sure I could get on the right frequency, so to speak) and suddenly had a whole badass battle scene going, realized I could incorporate some editorial input from a pass way back when that I always liked, and the next time I surfaced for air I was 13 pages in.
Well, it feels good. But when I replaced the old stuff with the new stuff, I realized that Chapter 4 is indeed necessary: there’s some foreshadow-y bits in it that I need to keep a certain thread going, and plus it’s better than I thought it was.
So instead of shaving a few thousand words, I went from 100K to 104K.
I know I shouldn’t be worrying about word count this early in the game: this is chapter 3 out of 16. I have a long way to go. But I can see myself doing this ten chapters from now: taking one bit out, replacing one bit with another bit, and ending up in the same place. It’s amusing, but it’s going to cost me time at the end of this process, when I have to cut somewhere, only everything seems perfect the way it is.
Ah well. I can’t say it’s going badly: it’s not. It’s going a little too well, actually.