Friday, December 12, 2008

Peel Back the Onion Layers


Onions!
Chop, chop, cut, cut, sweep, sweep. With all this cutting and sweeping, I may as well be at the beauty parlor. At least that way, there would be a little less gray and a lot more laughs. (Georgia, my hair stylist, is a stand-up comic disguised as a hairdresser.) I went from 72,000 words down to 30,000. Now I'm at about 40,000. It's hard to not let the word count bring me down since I'm writing like a maniac. I'm deeply engaged in a classic peel back the layers of the onion exercise. There's no question the story is getting clearer and stronger, but still, there's that darn word count! Last night Chuck said, "you're doing exactly what you should be doing, honey. Don't sweat the word count!" For a doctor, he's pretty smart.

Just thought I'd vent. Does anyone else out there have tears in their eyes from a related onion?

9 comments:

WendyCinNYC said...

Yes, my word count is always a little light. It's annoying! I prefer a fast pace, but I need to figure out where I can linger for a bit without losing the reader.

I prefer short story writing, but that pays almost nothing!

Big Plain V said...

Holy crap, that's some impressive cutting. Could I maybe send you mine?

Just take about thirty thousand off the top and send it on back.

Amy Nathan said...

I write the way I see something in my head, and then I go back and bump it up. I look at it like a balloon and just puff air into each little bit until its big enough, but not big enough to pop!

I am about 50 pages away from the end of my book and I'm at a stand still.

Kick my butt and give me some of what you've got over there, D!

DebraLSchubert said...

Wendy, By light, do you mean 35k? No, I didn't think so. Actually, I'm approaching the big 4-0. Beautiful, I've only got 20-30k to go before Christmas.

Ray, No problem, consider it done. It's easy really. Kind of like sticking your face under a faucet of steaming hot water for a few days. Who wouldn't like that?

Amy, Consider your butt officially kicked. I have total faith in you. It will happen, and it will be amazing! (You are naming one of the mc's after me, aren't you?)

Big Plain V said...

For me, cutting off words is like cutting off fingers. You can probably guess where I'm going with this simile.

Elizabeth said...

Oh I fully understand. I keep checking the word count and worry about it too. So I hear you. But really what can be done about it? Just write the story as it is supposed to come out and you've got what you've got. Can't stuff it with filler words. Love that you're getting clearer, this onion peeling is very very good.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Same onion, only a Sweet Vidalia. I'll be peeling and chopping my 80,000 ms come the new year. Wonder if I'll cry less if I revise/edit under water?

DebraLSchubert said...

BPV: Please don't hurt yourself.

Elizabeth: Absolutely right. You just have to tell the story and it's as many words as it is. Damn you, word count!

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, Good luck with the chopping and peeling. Are Sweet Vidalias any easier on the eyes? I'm having trouble with the fact that my Outtakes document is starting to catch up with my manuscript. Help!!! And, thanks for following my blog - much appreciated! I'll be sure to check out yours as well.

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