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Friday, February 18, 2011

Word Slasher!

So I'm gearing up to revise my novel (THE FRAME GAME, the one to be published). I have been asked, among other things, to cut the word count by quite a bit. I recognize I have a tendency to over-complicate, so I'm immensely grateful for editorial advice at this stage. And I agree some verbiage has to go. I know I can be excessive. (Witness the essay-like length of most of my blog entries here!) (Witness the over-explanation in this paragraph alone!)

When I used to teach writing, I found that most writers tend to overwrite, like me, or to underwrite. The grass is always greener, I guess. Underwriters, hearing my plight, assure me that at least cutting is easier -- I don't often have much to do in the way of fleshing out scenes or writing all new ones. Yet I envy the economy with which some of my fellow scribes seem to write. I would love to be told to deepen a scene or to add more details!

In the spirit of slashing excess verbiage, I'm keeping today's blog entry incredibly short. (Excess -- incredibly -- cut those modifiers!) I'm gearing up for a major revision, gathering my strength, conserving my words.

So as a substitute for any real advice today, I'm going to share a Japanese martial arts performance video. No, I don't think I'm giving up taiko drumming to pursue sword dancing anytime soon. However, if you watch this performance while thinking of the revision process -- and the plight of the writer who needs to slash words -- this can be an inspiring image. It inspired me, anyway!

Are you an underwriter or an overwriter? How do you gear up for or begin a major revision? What techniques have you found to help you cut words, paragraphs, or pages?

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