The early draft of Shock Loss is finished. It came in at nearly 58,000 words. That’s not including the 18,000 words I deleted.
What’s up with that? I thought planning was supposed to eliminate word waste. I have some theories.
- I started my writing process experiment in the middle of my first draft of Shock Loss. I began the book in July 2014, but then I was forced to take more than 7 months off. I didn’t get back to serious writing until the end of March 2015. After that much time off, I had developed some new ideas that required rewrites. And even then, I didn’t start my new process until mid-April. It’s really not fair of me to blame the word waste on the new process. This was an unusual process from start to finish.
- I discovered that my rewrites often take place as a result of changing how (in what order) I want to reveal information. I’m not searching for my plot (ie. what happens when). I’m searching for the best ways to unravel the mystery for the readers. Using my new planning techniques on a “straight-line novel,” where the action is linear and the author isn’t trying to conceal any part of the plot, might result in less word waste than in the mystery/thriller genre I’m currently writing. I’m going to try the process on my next modern Jane Austen short story. (See the most recent JA short here: Holidays with Jane: Spring Fever (Volume 2)). I’ll report back.
- I will also use the same process on Sunset Clause, which will be my next novel project. I’ll report back on that too.
If anyone has tips on how to plan to reveal info, that’d be great.