I’m cutting while I’m adding new material to DeCo. That popular advice to refrain from rewriting until a draft is complete? Yeah, I’m completely ignoring that. Minor edits, major edits, re-structures. I’m doing it all.
My word count still hovers about 30,000 words; fortunately, I no longer care, because I’m making changes that bring the draft closer to a completed novel.
By moving and adding scenes, cutting passages that kill a scene, and moving notes into separate documents, I’m building a better foundation for the rest of the story. I’m strengthening connections, giving characters more time to develop relationships and ensuring that action does more than provide immediate conflict.
It feels good!
Except when a passage I love must go into the Cutting Room Floor folder (if electronic). I’ve learned to make minimal revisions to an unfinished scene; otherwise, I’m so attached that I don’t want to cut large, irrelevant passages.
That kind of divulgence scares me so much that my mind usually blanks when I attempt it, but I couldn’t keep from thinking about the advantages. A friend might see solutions that I’ve overlooked, support an approach I’m considering, provide useful feedback on my ideas, etc. In addition, I could prove I’m not a slave to old fears.
One of my friends hinted a while ago that she’d help me with my novel, and yesterday, I finally took her up on her vague offer. In a few minutes, she circumvented hours of me trying to determine the biggest error in a couple of my scenes. From now on, she’s my Magic Eight Ball for plotting.
Thank you, Jennifer, for encouraging me to take this approach!