I’ve been away for a while, dealing with a family tragedy, but now I’m back and once again focused on my writing. I have another short story coming out this month in the Lovecraft eZine, a dark and spooky tale that readers will hopefully enjoy. I’ve also been spending a lot of time doing rewrites and edits on my first novel. I received some interest on it recently from a couple of agents, and some feedback regarding its length. Seems it’s too long.
In his nonfiction book/memoire of the craft, On Writing, Stephen King says that the second draft of your book should be the first draft minus ten percent. Personally, I’ve always been the type of writer who tends to add words on his second draft and not decrease them, but I’ve been taking his advice, going back through my manuscript and editing it for length. I’m only a few chapters in and already I can tell it’s much better for it. The writing is sharper, the pacing improved. I plan to keep going, cutting it down as much as possible. My ultimate goal is to shave off about ten-thousand words and then start submitting to agents again. Hopefully that will be all it needs. If you’re a writer struggling with pacing or word length this is a great formula to use as you write your second draft. It could make all the difference.
So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. I hope everyone out there has a happy holiday season and I wish you the best of luck in the New Year!