Uncategorized · writing

New Advice

I love getting advice, especially on my writing. You know why? I can keep what I want and throw out the rest! The other day I sort of hijacked this advice (first comment, by Selena) to use for Summer Rush. Basically, what she said was that, to eliminate excess/flowery prose, she sets a word count limit for each chapter. That way you know exactly what you have to say and how many words you can use to say it. Brilliant!

My chapters generally vary wildly in length (not on SR, but on other things). I once had a chapter that was 11 words long. And I once had a chapter that was 11,000 words long. Yes, I know. That’s way too long. I got caught up in the action and forgot to make chapter breaks ^_^

Anyway, I think this system of Selena’s is brilliant, and I’m attempting to put it into practice for myself right away, with chapter 2 of SR. The problem? This chapter is too long to be one chapter, too short to be two chapters, and I still have to put more stuff into it! Grrr. I was thinking that I’d try to write enough to put it into two chapters, but there’s no natural break where I could split it. It’s frustrating my brains out.

So I think I’m going to finish writing everything that needs to happen, and then I’ll go back and start slashing. It’ll have to be the leanest, meanest writing I’ve ever done if I’m going to make it fit in to one chapter. I’m kind of excited for the challenge!

I fondly look forward to the day when this book is done. Don’t get me wrong: I’m having a major blast writing, rewriting, and bemoaning its progress. But I want people to read it! I want my sisters and my aunt and Shannon from school and Ryley and everyone to read it! That’s what I wrote it for, after all.

Progress only comes with hard work, so I guess I’d better squeeze some work in before class. I have about an hour. Let us see how much I can get done 🙂

8 thoughts on “New Advice

  1. I also try to target specific lengths for my chapters. Sometimes that inspires me to add new dramatic action part way through a chapter that is going too long, just so I can have a cliffhanger chapter ending and a natural chapter break. Check out my series on cliffhangers on my Writing Workshop blog and scroll down to A Little Change for A Lot More Tension and, especially, More on Cliffhangers.

  2. I’m soooo glad she posted that! I’m always so afraid that each word I use contributes to purple prose, and I think setting word count goals will kind of prevent me from being TOO sucked into my words. I’ll be experimenting with this in the third draft of STARSONG.

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