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Medic!

August 24, 2008  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft   7 Comments

4,000 words yesterday! Plot points intersecting! Characters introduced at the beginning of the book have grown and learned, their fates their own, their lives coated in meaning.

The Good: The end is near! I can see the end of the book as clearly as if it was already typed.

The Bad: I need to cut 10,000 words. Ten Thousand! I refuse to have a 160,000 novel not just because I promised myself to stick to my limit, but because I honestly think there is 10k of crap buried in the manuscript. Maybe 20K.

Soon the rubber will hit the asphalt. It will be my true test. Can I polish this book down my second way through it? I think, dear readers, you demand nothing less.

Sleep now.

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7 comments on: Medic!

  1. Nicole August 25, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Wow, good for you! It’s amazing what you find the second time through, especially if you do what Stephen King recommends and put it away for awhile before reading it (thanks for the recommendation, btw, On Writing was phenomenal!) It must be great knowing you’re so close to the end.

  2. Anthony August 25, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Thank you and you are welcome. It really is a nice feeling.

  3. David August 25, 2008 at 9:02 pm

    I’m curious, will you keep the 10k of crap filed away somewhere? Not as a “director’s cut” of the novel, but more as raw material for a later novel? Or do you metaphorically (or literally) burn it in the fireplace?

  4. Anthony August 26, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I print them out and burn them in the burn barrel. Then, I take the ashes and pee on them. After that, I put them in the compost pile and they are ground up into dirt.

    I am writing, not just to express my overflowing creativity, but also to entertain. Cuts live on as a learning experience to grow as a writer and nothing more.

    (edit – first time I have seen WordPress freak out. This comment is now fixed)

  5. David August 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Interesting. Wil Wheaton’s got a quote up today from John Scalzi that illustrates a different approach.

    “The lesson here for writing is that even your “failures” — the stuff that doesn’t work for your book, for whatever reason — can still have value to you as you’re wrestling with your work. This is one reason way, whenever I chop out a significant chunk of text from a book I’m writing, I don’t simply delete it: I cut it and paste it into an “excisions” document that I keep handy. That way I can go back to that material for reference, or to drop a line or an idea into the final version, perhaps in a completely different context, but where it will do some real good. This is what I do, and it’s worked for me so far.”

    I suspect I’d lean towards your technique. I think I’d end up wasting too much time editing my prior rejects to make them fit somewhere else when I could have just written something new using the old idea.

  6. Anthony August 26, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    I have a lot of respect for Wheaton. What he is talking about is very viable, just not for me. My weakness as a writer is Word Smiting. What I cut just does not read well. It deserves the knife.

    If I was not able to produce 3,000 words a day, well maybe I would be a little more careful!

  7. Pingback: There are cuts and then there are cuts « Anthony Pacheco: Hack Writer

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