Monday, September 28, 2009

Whittling My Report

I've been back from my travels for days now and still trying to get caught up. One of the things I'm working on is my workshop report for the Afictionado ezine for ACFW members. I volunteered to be a reporter for literary agent Natasha Kern's workshop entitled Sin + Virtue = Bestseller.

I took notes of Natasha's workshop with my mini while at the conference. Natasha spoke very fast for an hour plus and I tried to keep up with her. I ended up with about 2200 words. But it was too much. My report has to be 500 words maximum.

So, I whittled it down to 1500 words by taking out all the examples she used. Still not enough.

Then I worked it down some more and am now sitting at 1100 words. Sheesh. I still have to shave 600 words off it!

It wouldn't be so bad except that Natasha has some excellent stuff there. She talked about conflict and heroes and villains in a way that although it surely wasn't new, it was new to me. I'm excited to get back to Emma's Outlaw and breathe new life in my characters...

but Yikes!


  1. Hang in there! I hear you...I find trimming a difficult task.

    This is not on subject, but I am so excited about your WIP. I can't wait to read it.

  2. Hey thanks, Susanne. I worked on it for hours today and got it down to 489! Tomorrow morning I'll check it over to ensure it still makes sense and then send it out.

    Then I'll get to work on Emma's story.
    Since so many Inkies have expressed an interest in reading it, I'm thinking of posting it in my file there and whoever wants can take a crack at reading/critting it. :)

  3. I had to trim a 145,000 word novel to 110,000. I did it without losing anything important, and I even added a few scenes.

    Here are some tips for removing words without removing content.

    1) Remove adverbs
    2) Remove helping verbs
    3) Remove words like just, like, that etc...
    4) Remove any double adjectives
    5) Combine sentences

    It will actually make your writing much cleaner. Most experienced authors write very tight.


  4. Trim 35,000 words? Yowza! That's one heckuva lot!

    Thank you for those tips, Dina. Good to know it's doable. :)


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