Writing by Index Card and Machete

So, I started the revision with three separate files on the ol’ novel-writing software. I had One for theĀ  chapters at the beginning that I’d already revised almost to finished. One for the things that I think I can use out of the first draft. And One for scenes which did not exist, when I started the revision. (I have matching, color-coded index cards to go with this.)

I’m pulling the three apart to make one, coherent file, right now.

Watching my word count soar.

I’m aiming for a word count somewhere in the middle of my genre’s expectations.

Word count and I haven’t always been friends. My first novel wound up very low, and the first draft of this novel is… well, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of twice as long as it needs to be. I was playing with writing thick at the time.

Let’s just swing back and forth between extremes.

I have about 80,000 words in the “good” pile and about another 70,000 in the “possibly able to keep” pile.


I know I have a lot I can’t save, and some of it doesn’t even fit with the plot, anymore… but still!

It’s possible that writing thick isn’t working for me on the revision end.

So, how do you write? Less than you need and add more later, or more than you need, and cut it down to size in revision?



  1. Reply

    After a while, you tend to know the rhythm of the word count for your genre, but it really depends on each story. I’ve started with the intention of xxx words, and the story continues to grow. I’ve also written and came up short. I guess there’s no easy answer except to say the story itself will tell you.

  2. Reply

    I write sparsely on my first draft – almost no description or internal monologue. I try to add these on subsequent drafts. My first draft tends to be too long, and subsequent drafts even longer.

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