As a writer, I struggle with my ego and my desire to be published. It’s hard to know what criticism to accept and run with and what to hear but decide not to implement. Anyway, I finished revamping the entire book The Curse of the Radcliffe Rubies. It is now down to 92,450 words. From a record 104,000 in November. My goal was 95K. So I am thrilled to have a shorter more palatable novel in terms of word count. I am excited to have improved my editing skills to the point where I could zero in on all the 12K words that were not needed. I think I cut 3-5 scenes at most. Mostly it was about finding repetition and redundancies and clearing them out.
As I was making the last of the edits, I got excited to see how the story wrapped up. I outlined and wrote and rewrote this story 300 times. So I know it by heart. But on every rewrite, I change it. So I wasn’t quite sure how it would wrap up. I have to say, I think my writing is improving with each version. What I wrote in 2006 and 2008 was unpublishable. But I didn’t see it at the time. Hindsight. Probably the most useless tool we have. It’s like not being able to smell smoke until the fire encircles you. Yeah, that’s helpful.
But by pushing forward and refusing to give up on the story, I think I have told a much better story. I loved the plot and the characters from day one. It was just a matter of getting my writing skills to a level where they could do justice to it. I think I am fast approaching that point. At least, I hope I am. I’ve gotten great advice from some stellar agents and I’ve run with it. (Hopefully, in the right direction.) I’ve got a one day seminar in April and a 3 day writer’s conference in May. Those will be the testing ground, I guess.
But for now, I want to take a moment and bask in the fact that I finished all my edits to the entire novel. It feels pretty freaking awesome to hit that milestone.