Friday, January 28, 2011

My Novel's Journey: Mind Over Matter edits

It is done!

I finished the major revisions of Mind Over Matter Thursday afternoon. I knocked it down from 132,000 words to 98,500, primarily by killing a subplot and some deep background, plus removing a few redundancies. I've got it with some friends for a general critique of plot progression and character, to make sure I didn't cut too much and leave important points unexplained. In the meantime, I plan to let it sit until Monday, when I'll read it out loud to check the flow, then print it and read it backwards to make sure the sentences are free of errors and written as well as possible.

This is the most extensive revision of a manuscript I've ever done. I found it interesting that I could cut so much that seemed so very important when I was writing it, and come up with a better story. I remember reading that Spider Robinson had a similar experience. He would send a story to (I think it was) Amazing, and Campbell, the editor, would send it back saying, "Great story! Cut it by a third." He said he'd sweat over each word, believe the idea impossible, do it anyway, and come up with a better story as a result.

I think I've greatly improved Mind Over Matter. I can't wait to get a pub date on it!

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