Revisions have been fairly overwhelming lately. As I mentioned before, my novel currently has too much backstory. I’ve needed to trim a fair bit of it, but I have had a hard time nailing down what had to go and what had to stay.
I figured out that the best way to handle it was one step at a time. I’ve got two major sections that needed to be trimmed down: Gabby’s opening story, and Tock’s. Between them, there’s over 99 pages that fall in the “uncertain” section. I’m definitely not cutting anywhere near that whole 99 pages, but all the things I DO need to cut fall somewhere within that range. That was an overwhelming amount of stuff to look at, and I was lost for a couple of weeks trying to sort through it all.
So I made a decision: just focus on Gabby’s sections first, and ignore Tock’s. This is easy to do at this part of the story because it’s before their paths directly intertwine, so I was able to look at each character separately.
Then I broke Gabby’s sections down even further. There are 3 chapters in that section, so I looked at them one at a time. By doing so, I was only looking at a 5-10 page section of the 99 pages. That made it a lot easier to focus on what I needed to do. I’ve cut 3600 words so far from just one of those three chapters. I haven’t touched the other two yet. I’ll tackle them next.
It made a big difference, I think, being able to look at the revisions this way. I’m a lot less stressed now. I haven’t even looked at Tock’s sections yet (and I know hers has the greater amount of cutting to be done). I’m not going to give her section a moment’s thought until the current set of revisions is done.
One step at a time. It’s a lot easier that way.