Figuring things out, One step at a time

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.

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2 thoughts on “Figuring things out, One step at a time”

  1. I’m not sure if I’m helping or hurting with this recommendation, but here it goes. Maybe you should consider doing trilogy ala Cindy Woodsmall (Amish Fiction writer) because there is so much back story.

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