Saturday, September 09, 2006
VISION AND REVISION
I just sent the revision of my medieval fantasy, TALON, back to my Faber & Faber editor in the UK (one month turnaround. Not bad!). Now it's back to THE ANCIENTS --
sequel to THE BEAST OF NOOR. My Atheneum editor, Susan Burke cried "Shorten!" saying THE BEAST OF NOOR was Long. Could I make THE ANCIENTS about 100 pages shorter than BEAST?
Hum . . . I knew this would be a lot of cutting since THE ANCIENTS was turned in at about 100 pages LONGER than the BEAST manuscript. Still Susan gave me some suggestions about where to begin lightening the load.
I began, as always, with some trepidation and started to remove a paragraph here, a page there, working tenderly with tweezers. As I grew more daring out came the the scissors, clip clip here, clip clip there, scenes dropped to the floor. Finally I pulled out the hacksaw, cutting out whole chapters that "slowed the pace" or "could be turned into a telling little paragraph after all."
To make sure I don't cut anything vital, I'm scanning the manuscript using a Plot Chart I devised to keep track of the the Through Line.
Three weeks to go before I have to turn the revision in.
The race is on.
Until the next blog,