Friday, August 24, 2012

The Editing Phase

I'm 99% certain that there's no more content to be added to the WIP. and I know I don't want to eliminate any content. That means I'm in the polishing stage. From this point on, I'll be trying to distill what I've written, keeping the plot points, the conflict, the angst, the maturation of the MC, the romance, the scientific sparkle, the political fire, and the philosophical bullshit, but distilling it into a work count of 120K.

You know what? That's not an arbitrary number. I understand the significance of the number as it pertains to the size and price of books, but it's more than that. I really don't think a good first book should drag on beyond it. I know. I know. It doesn't make sense. Tell the tale in as many words as it takes, that's what the purists'll tell you. but that's shit. If you have more than 120K words to say, then you undoubtedly are considering a series of some kind. I intend for this one, the current WIP, to become a trilogy. I have the backbone of the other two books loosely drafted, and I like where it goes.

Anyway, that's irrelevant. The object now is to make the story into a song in the fictive dream. I'm telling you right now, it's not enough to display events that are interesting by their nature, a writer has to polish the words like the water running over the round stone at the bottom of the creek.

The picture above is my buddy Mark. He's a shitty pool player, but one of the best fishermen I've ever met. We're going to Canada in September. and I'll bet him and the other guys as to who'll catch the biggest fish and the most, but I'm pretty sure going in I'll lose. It's okay.

It reminds me that a man has to know his limits. I can polish like a bastard, bur plotting isn't my forte. I know I'll need touches of help. I've gotten to like an editor on one of the message boards I frequent. We seem to have the same eye for things, but he tends to catch things I didn't. Of course, he waits until I go first in opinions, but I think it's because he wants to edit my MS. I'll give him the first crack at it. He'll get the first two chapters, and I'll ask him for a sample of his work. If, he passes my test, I'll have to see if he fits in our budget, but I'm pretty certain he will.

Anyway, I'm enjoying this phase, when you've got solid material and curlycue's to work with. I think it's my only strength. Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck, Fred! I do hope you haven't ended book one on a cliffhanger otherwise I'll have to shoot you!

  2. Congratulations, cousin Vrabinec!

  3. Writing is so much fun. It is a challenge too, but when you are done with your book, there is a sense of satisfaction nobody can ever take away from you!! I understand how you feel about the editing process. I probably did not do as much editing as you are doing, I went over my book three or four times and every time it seemed I was at least finding a punctuation error. I have no doubt that an English scholar would scoff at my book as I am not a professional editor. But I think it turned out pretty well overall. GIFTED is also destined to be a trilogy. My goal was to keep it under 80k words because agents wont even give it a second glance if it is more than that. When I finished, it was 75k words. Anyway, I digress, have a great day and good luck!!