So now I’ve blown past my deadline again for VOL, I think it’s time to accept the fact that – whilst I work a full-time job – it’s unrealistic to type up an existing story and write a whole new one side by side. I could for say, a few days, but the burnout would hit me like a freight train. That does alter the pace I can work on new stories, though if I can get just a teeny bit more efficient then in time I think I can write a new novel every two months. That efficiency would also come from letting the first draft sit at nearer 60,000 words though.
So why is that? Well when you rewrite a book by typing up the whole thing, you find yourself going off script a lot. You riff, rewrite, move things around and sometimes look at a whole page and go ‘Nah’. It’s a lot easier to kill your darlings if you’re forced to type them up for a second time, and even more so when you then plug them into Hemingway. But what I’ve found time and again, is when I type up an existing work, no matter how much I try to be ruthless and cut stuff, it ends up longer than the original.
I’m glad that VOL is now two paragraphs off of being 90,000 words long, even if that is 15,000 more than planned with more left to go. It means I can cut more without worrying about going under-threshold. Of course, if I had more time, I could re-read and decide if adding words might suit it better after that step. There is nothing stopping me doing that after uploading it to WattPad though and adding 10K makes a book eligible to enter the Wattys for a second year in a row.
All the same though, while I do enjoy reading 100K, 200K and even the odd 500K story, I love keeping a tight narrative. The story feels like it has less waffle, more focus and deliberate choices. I can’t speak for you my imaginary reader but I know I prefer prose to not go off on one and get so lost in the B story it may as well become the main plot. That could be a bias I inherit from film I’ll concede, but even so, I’d view it as a positive stylistic choice rather than a flaw. And yes I am well aware my favourite book Jane Eyre is the total opposite to what I’m describing yet I love every second of it.
Still surreal that we’re on year two. Given 1K took until February – three months – to hit its stride, and it was not until WHT took off in May that I got to a workable pace, I should turn out at least three novels between now and September 27th, 2020. If I do decide to do NaNoMineMo, then it could be four. I’ll be honest though, in my current health that might be an awful idea that will backfire on me for months afterwards. I’ve got a month to decide, so guess we will see.