Another Update on the Book

Yesterday I finished the second draft of my book, tightening up the prose, making my use of words more efficient, and improving the structure in certain places. The word count has dropped from 98k to 74k with almost no changes to the story; that gives you an idea of how overwritten it was. The second draft took me just over 2 months on the calendar, 40 days of which I worked on it.

I now need to start on the third draft which will be twofold:

1. A further tightening up of the prose, cutting more unnecessary words, and generally improving individual sentences as much as I can.

2. A look at the intensity of both the overall storyline and that of individual scenes. Readers need a break occasionally, and a scene which is too intense for too long will get tiresome. As Alex K pointed out in the comments, terse conversations should include sentences which are longer and more laid-back, and the same is true for the story as a whole. I think I will probably need to include some filler in places, just to give the reader a chance to relax a while; fortunately with my much-reduced word count I’ll have room to do that.

I’m not sure when this will be done, but hopefully by the end of summer. I’ll also need to get the synopses written, and then find an editor. I know of one who I will approach, but does anyone know any others who specialise in (sort of) romantic, realistic fiction that would appeal to middle-aged men and women? Also, does anyone have any idea what an editor would charge?

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9 thoughts on “Another Update on the Book

  1. A few years ago novel editors in the USA charged about $20,000. I don’t know what the going rate is today. But you have a lot of fans; surely you can find experienced people willing to edit the book just for the glory of it.

  2. I’ve just been rereading the Le Carre spy stories. He overwrites a little, perhaps, but much of it would be a pretty good model for a newstart. But maybe not for a writer of romances if they are of the kissy-kissy variety.

  3. “A few years ago novel editors in the USA charged about $20,000.” One too many zeros. $2000 is closer. Sorry

  4. One too many zeros. $2000 is closer. Sorry

    Ah! I was just about to respond to that! I was thinking about £1k for a British editor, which is much more like it. If editors were pulling in $20k per book, my resignation from the oil business would go in this week!

  5. But maybe not for a writer of romances if they are of the kissy-kissy variety.

    It’s not kissy-kissy and this will be my first and last romance, probably. Romance might even be pushing it.

  6. Laying off the loud pedal on occasion sounds like a good idea as intensity does I suppose need leavening sometimes.

  7. OTOH, while editing is good, don’t squeeze the ‘life’ out of the story with too much paring down. There comes a point where the story can become sterile if trimmed mercilessly.

    The old ‘plot that always works’ summary is: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl. Stripped down to that means novels would be about nine words, but it takes away seem of the fun along the way.

    Some of the best tales in the world do ramble just a little bit.

  8. OTOH, while editing is good, don’t squeeze the ‘life’ out of the story with too much paring down. There comes a point where the story can become sterile if trimmed mercilessly.

    Indeed. Don’t worry, there is plenty going on in my story. 🙂

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