I’m slowly sinking back into my revision, after an absurdly long time away from it. Life happens, and last year, it happened to me. I got a lot of other things done–for instance, that blogging regularly goal, and quite a few new words–but the revision, and the focus that takes were just not one of them.
I just finished cutting away the excess. I don’t want to revise every single wandering train of thought that choo-choo-ed its way through my mind, and that was a lot of bulk. I think that process took away half of the raw words off the bat.
Now, I’m working on figuring out just how many words I have left, and how I want to use those words.
I have about 40,000 words I’m good with. The first chunk of the novel has already been organized and revised, and it’s… well, either breathtakingly brilliant or mind-boggling awful, depending on how I’m feeling at any given moment. Anyway, it’s pretty much done.
Science Fiction and Fantasy novels can be pretty big, but with some guidance from Uncle Google, I see that 100,000 – 115,000 is a good range to aim for. So… subtract my 40,000 words, and I wind up with 60-75 k left to go.
I’m using three different colors of index card here:
- Green–for the things that are already IN the book.
- Violet–for the 60,000 words that are well and truely safe.
- Yellow–for the next 15-20,ooo, which are creeping toward that limit, or possibly over it.
For the new/or yet-to -revise portions of the book, I’m figuring 2,000 words per scene, which works out to 30 violet cards and 10 yellow cards.
Then, I sat down and wrote out lists of all the scenes the book NEEDS. One for my main characters and one for my antagonist/main subplot/whatever we’re calling her. That eats up twenty three of my violet plot cards, and brings the currently planned total somewhere around 86,000 words.
Deep breath, and exhale. I am definitely going to be able to squeeze everything into ONE free-standing book. I was worried about that. Particularly since it definitely isn’t two whole books.
So, now, I’m debating whether I have the willpower to just sit down and write through those cards without tinkering with much of anything on the way.