Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Giving It 90%.

So that 10,000 word story I swore was as lean and tight as it possibly could be?  I easily trimmed 1,000 words from it yesterday.

Now this is a story I really like. And my first readers really liked. And slushreaders seem not to really like. Of course, now it's been trimmed and tightened to within an inch of its life, I'm sure the slushers will love it. Unfortunately, it's already been rejected at the markets I really wanted to publish it, and it can't be sent back to them. So now I have to look for others that would suit this story.

It's been very productive here this week. I've rewritten three and a half stories so far. (The missing half will be done this afternoon) Two of those have already been subbed, while the third (as mentioned above) is looking for the right home. The fourth, once complete, will be sent out for a weekend deadline.

And then I have a fifth, smaller rewrite to be done. That already has a market in mind. And then all my stories will be out in the wildwoods and I'll have a clean plate again.

Don't worry, I have a list of stories ready to go.

Including one based on a dream I had last night about John Belushi. And it ties in nicely with this other idea I've had running through my brain for the past two weeks.

And then there's the one about ...

Heck, I have a couple of pages of ideas just waiting to be written. And right now I actually have some time to make a start on a couple of them.


parlance said...

It's staggering just how many words can be trimmed off a story that we would swear is ready to go. Recently, to fit the word count of a competition, I went through a story with a fine-tooth comb. I read it sentence by sentence, focusing minutely on each word. Eventually I went backwards through it, from last sentence to first, taking out every unlovely expression and every unnecessary word. I was surprised to discover I'd taken two thousand words from a six thousand word story. (I didn't get shortlisted, sigh...)

Steve Cameron said...

Sorry to hear you weren't shortlisted, Parlance.

And yes, despite our best efforts we often can't see the bits that need to be trimmed. All those lovely expressions we slaved over and believe are necessary for the story, often don't add anywhere near as much as we think.

We need to be a bit more ruthless and less precious with our words.