I am kaitco

a writer's log

Just another couple rounds Thursday, December 20, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 8:17 am
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I’ve once again reached the point in an edit that I hate the most: the point where I have more words to cut from the draft than I have words left in the novel. Currently, Damen stands at 142K words which, as I keep reminding myself in an effort to avoid disheartenment, is a far cry from the 289K I had in March of this year.

With every edit, I trim and trim some more until all I’ve got left are the things I love. A while ago, I considered some of very basic cuts of prose that I adored to be just painful, but now, as I contemplate eliminating more characters and entire plot lines, what I faced back in April and May was barely a splinter to the oozing wound I’ve got now.

When I complete this edit, hopefully before the new year, I’m going to sit down with my novel points and chapter summaries and figure out what storyline can get cut without making me want to cut myself. Even as I type, I’m nearly brought to tears at the concept and I’m imagining the cheap way out which would be to give cutting the beginning chapters another try.

Alas, I’ve got to be strong. Damen has been on the cusp of completion for several years now, but it’s never been this close to being ready to be viewed by another person. So, for now, I’ll pray that these cuts aren’t the end of me since, even when I’ve got the book down to size, I’ll still have to face the agony of rejection when I start to send out query letters.


Woot! Finished!!!! Sunday, March 18, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:55 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s rare that I get to have a post that includes FOUR exclamation points, but I thought this post was worthy of it.

I FINISHED!!! The first full draft of Damen is finally done.

I don’t think I can actually count how many years it’s taken me to get to this point…but I’ll try.

The idea came to me with one of my normal “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” thoughts in the middle of my 16th century Brit Lit class and that was towards the end of 2007. Some of the earliest notes I can find for Damen are tagged as last edited in mid-2008 when I decided to pace myself on the novel because I wanted to see whether or not Barack Obama would get elected. If I look back to my first post about writing at this blog in May 2009, I mention trying to understand some nuances between Damen and Jessie, which would have been still very early in the novel (maybe even the third chapter out of 40) and when I was still doing the heavy notes for the novel…So, I suppose that puts me at a little more than 3 YEARS writing this thing.

I’ll note that I’m not as overjoyed as I should be given that, at 287,984 words, I’ve got some definite trimming ahead of me and I’m also rather tired, but I’d like to take a moment and look back to the first time I finished a novel five years ago. I think I’m in that same place.

Today, March 18, 2012 at 11:24PM ET, I finished my first “publishable” novel. I’ll also note that between Flight, Evan and Alex, this is actually my fourth overall novel, but to have some thing in my virtual hands that I could actually send to an agent/publisher is an achievement I knew I would get, but had never considered the moment until now. In fact, it made me tear up, just a little.

And so, on I trek! With almost 200K to cut before I can start sending this to anyone, I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I’ll posts will be still be forthcoming since I’ve never had to edit my own work before, so this will be the start of a brand new adventure! 🙂


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