I’ve been tackling draft three of the book. This is the slasher one. I added about 7,000 to the word count with the second draft, filling in gaps, adding scenes and so on. I knew I would add to the word count – for one thing a character who was pivotal to the plot only turned up on the page when I was writing the penultimate scene so he needed to be threaded in the rest of the book.
So to cut. I read through it methodically and chopped as I went. It was enormously satisfying. After I while I noticed these things about my writing.
I start a lot of sentences with ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘so’. Less frowned on these days than it was but there were still far too many of them to read well.
I cut the same words time and time again from the manuscript. They were:
- A little
- For a while
Aren’t they awful? Such woolly non-precise terms. I cut as many as I could. I got to the end of the manuscript and then did a ‘find’ search on each of them and cut some more. 4,000 words gone.
I may go through it all again and see what else can go, what else can be changed, where further refinements are needed. And then I feel like I need to start pestering other people with it. Wish me luck.