I hit my word count goal last weekend.
Five weeks ago one of my esteemed critique group members suggested writing in first person and that propelled me into frenzy (the good kind) and I wrote 25 thousand (and deleted 5 thousand) words over the course of that time frame.
I have a plan. Finish the draft and then search out nasty words, then read the entire book.
Here are those nasty words:
Very, almost, of course, involve, just, really, very, quite, sort of, walk, saw, seem, instantly, suddenly, briefly, good, bad, nice, went, came, moreover, a lot, alright , probably
I was very disappointed to see my word count shrink by over 600. Fixing these offensive and often repeated words with more descriptive phrases or fixing the sentence often included rewriting. I know I added words, but the net result was a loss… in word count. A win in clarity.
I have been writing furiously over the past three months. Having attended two writer’s conferences recently, I was energized and elated. What I learned in those weekends has propelled me into a pleasant ability to write effectively with hopes of real publication.
The downside is that I have stopped blogging as my days and nights are consumed with my book.
BUT searching for and rewriting these words was the most “work” I have ever done as a fiction writer. (Nonfiction is all work.) It was disappointing to look into the search box and see how many more I had to do. I took a full sixteen hours to find and fix these words.
And I have more to do. These are:
Very, almost, of course, ly words, ion words, is, are, was, were, be, been, being, make, made, involved, provide, provided that, walk, look, heard, thought, ing words, seemed as, got, get,
These words came from a variety of sources. Feel free to cut and paste them, and then eliminate as many as possible from your work.
If you’re interested (I know you are) after the word fix, I’m reading the book front to back and fixing tenses, phrases and small plot issues. Then stop writing for a few days and reread it again.
On or about the first of the month (most likely around May 5th) I’ll be sending it to my editor ( a former NY Times copy editor) who is simply awesome and very inexpensive. I send him a hard copy and get it marked up in return. I will send you his contact information if you request it.
Once I manually input his fixes, and then off it goes to the 45 agents (in small groups as I have learned in my seminars, to test the responses)
I will explain the spread sheet that super-agent Jeff Kleinman explained in San Francisco in a near future blog.
But, with my three great critique groups, and this fresh breeze of creativity, I hope to give you great news of landing an agent for this project.
Keep an eye out for those nasty words.
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