Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fiersom's Brood update.

Many of you already know this from FB, but my agent has suggested cutting 100 pages. You know what that means right? Not so much bloggy in the next few weeks.

I got the email last night (Mr. Bliss was kind of 'there' to share my dread), so first thing this morning, I got up and attacked the scenes with a sharp knife -- before they had a chance to fully wake up. I find murder to be fairly easy when you're victims are groggy, so, you know, next time you gotta kill something. . .
So any of you writer guys have to make major cuts like that before? How did it make you feel? Did you cry? You can tell me. I won't point and laugh. Honestly, I'm not much of a cutter, myself. When I edit, I tend to add more stuff than I cut, so I guess it's good that I have somebody like Mr. Ellenberg guiding me.


Debra Lynn Shelton said...

Ray, You can do it! I'm actually quite good at cutting and not pasting. On my current WIP, my "outtakes" document is nearing 30K words. More often than not, less is more. This exercise get to the heart of the work and brings forth clarity. So, go on and chop away! We'll all be here waiting for you when you get back...

Sarah J Clark said...

I've always been told I write tight, so I have that going for me, but I have murdered characters before without any remorse.

Remember less is more.

Good luck. I tip my sharp edged sword to you.

And, WTF? You've got 19 followers now. I'm still stuck on 12!

Not. Fair.

Keri Mikulski said...

Good luck!

Tracey said...

Sorry, got nuthin' for ya. I've never had to cut 100 pages, maybe 100 words ... Of course I've never had a manuscript accepted by an agent. Get in there and chop man. This is what you've been working so hard for all these years.

Jewel Allen said...

Wow, 100. That would reduce some of my stories to a picture book size.

Good luck and have fun being ruthless.

This probably means I should ask someone else to look at my mss while I wait for your crits. :-)

VeeFlower said...

My guess is that he has pitched the book to someone and was told that the YA attention span shouldn't be overestimated, even though it is a cracking good story. Painful, I have no doubt, but I know you are keeping your eyes on the prize and this recent development suggests he has a sale pending.

Vikki said...

Well, just to query my first novel, I had to cut 20K words. Not sure what that works out to in pages, but it sucked giant moose turds regardless. I don't like editing. It's like going through your closet determined to get rid of clothes you don't wear anymore, but every piece you come across you can't bring yourself to part with. Sounds like you have some outstanding guidance, though. That would make a world of difference!

Good luck! I'm sure it will go well (remember to drink!)

K. M. Walton said...

Nope, don't have an agent...yet. I wish you well on trimming - 100's a lot - I can't imagine where I'd start. Guess you just have to jump right in.

Elizabeth said...

Well you know how much I enjoy hearing how the process works. I'm certain your book will be a masterpiece once it hits the shelves.

Bryan B. said...

Wow, didn't realize you were in the moment last night.

Like I said, that's rough.

I will say this: I am the mad cutter. Like, Jack the Ripper and stuff. Stephen King calls it "killing your babies" - which sounds really rough, but makes sense in his context.

I'm about 300 pages in and I haven't seen much I would cut yet.

Let me know if I can help in any way, man.

Ray Veen said...

Debra - I envy you. You shall be my inspiration.

Sarah - You know you can follow yourself, right? It's cheating, but it makes people think you're cooler than you are which is something I really need.

Keri - Thank you for the good luck wish. Assuming you come back to read this, I'd be really interested to know if you were asked to do much cutting before your book was published.

Tracey - Yup. Chopping away. Actually the chopping is done, now I'm whittling.

Pink - I really really really will get to your book. Especially after the synopsis you put on your blog. It doesn't sound like it'll be in time for you to query though, so, definitely put plan B into action.

Vee - That'd be nice, obviously, but it doesn't sound like that's the case. I think he's just super motivated to make this book absolutely shine.

Vivi - You cut 20k by choice? You are officially my other inspiration.

KM - Funny how easy it was to cut huge sections. The excess phrases and sentences are what's hard to root out.

Elizabeth - Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'll be emailing you.

Bryan - You've probably just read a bunch of what got cut. Ironic, no? As for murdering your darlings (I've heard it that way too), I took out some really fun stuff -- stuff I loved. But it contributed nothing to the plot, and the book was too long, so...


Because it was in a scene that had to be cut, I would like to pass on one of my favorite lines in the book:

"Anybody have any injuries not butt-related?"

Anonymous said...


Amy said...

You had to cut the butt-related injuries reference?? Wow, the publishing world really is a cruel mistress.

Best of luck with the edit! I'm the same way, I always add stuff when I go back to edit. I'm terrible at culling.

Sarah J Clark said...

I'm now following myself..... but I must admit, it feels a little stalker-ish.


Sarah J Clark said...

Holy blog biscuits Batman!

I have a NEW follower besides myself! Clearly, someone saw my comment on your blog and felt sorry for me.

-Whatever it takes.

Carrie Harris said...

I loved the butt-related comment. Darn it.

But seriously. (Get it? But? Butt? Har de har.) I am lethal when it comes to cutting. Which means I'm always more on the "you should add 100s of pages" end rather than the cutting end. So I guess we complement each other well, eh? Regardless, you are tres up to it, and in retrospect you will probably think FB is better for it.

Wow. I'm so freaking chipper. Disgusting, isn't it?

Sarah J Clark said...


FIFTEEN followers now.


Ray Veen said...

Hubby - Thanks a lot. Now I have to wash my blog to get the stain out.

Amy - There might be a way to salvage the butt comment. Depends on how much other crap I can find to delete.

Sarah - I just figured out a new way to cheat. So you might as well give up.

Carrie - It's ironic. In the first revision my agent asked me to do, I ended up with a total of like thirty more pages. And I cut several scenes that time around. Weird game we're playing, no?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you; I don't cut; I add. The double semi-colon. Yes, yes.