Saturday, 18 January 2014

An IWSG update

Thank you to everyone who commented on my IWSG post this month. If you didn't see it, I was trying to decide whether I should cut words to fit a specific market, or continue with the story as I wanted to tell it.

I decided to cut words! I realised I had no choice, I would kick myself if I didn't at least try - on account of my huge crush on this publisher! It was only 3300 words over the absolute maximum (and I checked, there's no leeway), I could cut that easily... In fact, my words in the IWSG post was easy peasy.

Oh dear... those dreaded last words.

As I started to cut a few words here and there, tightening sentences that admittedly were already pretty tight because I can't write any other way, I also started to add words: I needed to clarify a certain point I was trying to make, I'd cut off a train of thought halfway through. And I'd forgotten Christmas. When you're trying to denote the passing of years in a small number of words, Christmas is always a great bullet point.

My word count now stands at 4000 words over the maximum. Looking at the numbers alone, I can see where I can slice it - the story is top heavy, the first chapter is over three times the length of the final one. But I've read and re-read, and I just can't slash any more words without losing the impact of the story.

It looks like I won't be able to submit to this imprint after all...


18 comments:

  1. It must be very difficult deciding what to cut! I don't envy that task. But probably better to be faced with having to cut than having to add :)

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  2. I'm sorry! Some stories just can't be told within a certain time frame. There will be other opportunities.

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  3. Sorry. At least you know you tried. You'll find the right home for it.

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  4. Hey - you did your best, but you have to maintain the integrity of your writing. I believe in fate. Now this work will find a better home. It's okay.

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  5. I'm sorry; that's so frustrating.

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  6. AAACK! Lousy word limitations. And you know what, if you've found all the right words for a piece, you shouldn't cut them. It's hard but there it is (everyone wants me to add words, so I feel you, just on the opposite side of the fence).

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  7. Adding to the sentiment that there is a time and a place for everything, so perhaps this project needs a different home...

    GOOD LUCK :)

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  8. D'oh!! I think what the others above said is right - this story is meant for another home. :)

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  9. What did you do? LOL! I genuinely don't understand how you've done this... there were words that needed to come out... how have you added more?!

    <3

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  10. I'm about 25,000 words over my original self imposed word count. But that's just the way the story rolled out as I wrote it. Just have to go with it sometimes.

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  11. Thanks guys!

    Kyra - I took out a lot too. I'm as puzzled as you are. I've never had too many words, ever!

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  12. That's too bad! But it must mean you'll have a different story to sub to this publisher one day, one that will be perfect for it. (I'm trying to look on the bright side of things for you!) :)

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  13. It's a necessary evil....but I hate cutting.

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  14. Do you have a tame reader? Like they say you should do with roses, get someone else to do your pruning :) I have just been cutting a short story down from 3500 to 2800 - that was hard enough!

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  15. I hate to hear this because you sounded so excited about this publisher, but I am sure that another opportunity will come along for this story.

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    Replies
    1. After writing this post, I tried really hard and got it down to 30,743... But I think I slashed too much, AND as I was slashing I was thinking of plot points I hadn't even explored... So, new plan - write a proper book-length book, for the moment anyway :-)

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