Author Topic: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!  (Read 4712 times)

Lin

  • Guest
I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« on: February 27, 2009, 09:23:37 AM »
I worked it out today and I have to lose 30 pages of my novel to make 100K words

I've already lost 6K words in two drafts.  Now I am concerned that to lose this amount of work will spoil the story.  I need to lose 15K words.

I have cut out unnecesarry words, cut out weak verbs, cut out unnecessary scenes and now I cutting out paper dolls!!  LOL Its getting to be a bit of a nightmare.   Has anyone got any further ideas for me?

The story is certainly tigher now than it was and no-one can get bored with it!!  There is plenty of action.  Short of re-writing the whole thing again, which I am sure isn't necessary, there has to be a better way.  I obviously wrote too much, so maybe I'll have to cut out various scenes and risk losing the value of the whole plot.  I would have to adjust the story accordingly.  What a nightmare.  I have interest in the book now from a couple of sources, I am afraid I might lose that interest with the cutdown.

Lin x


Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors don’t die; They play with cats
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 11:47:00 AM »
I would love to help but without seeing the ms.  I would let someone else take a look.  Fresh eyes….

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 11:54:28 AM »
JH is correct.  In general, though, the early part of a story is rather dispensable.  Try cutting out the first 30 to 40 pages and reconstructing a beginning in medias res.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 12:02:16 PM by eric »

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 12:11:10 PM »
I think I will cut out as much as I dare and then look at it it from there.  I will be getting someone to read it as I have a professional author mentor now.  I start with her next week, so maybe together we can come up with a solution.  In the meantime I made the problem so I suppose I have to deal with it.  Anyway thanks.  I have to admit the story is looking much better now and a lot more exciting.



Lin x

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 01:26:16 PM »
A 115,000 word novel is like a large house with rooms you've made -- mostly moveable walls.  You can't dispense with the kitchen, bathrooms, or bedroom, but you can rearrange the space in a lot of ways.  No doubt the pro you'll be working with will have some ideas.

If you need to save 15,000 words, however, that would be about 60 pages by my rough estimate.  The only way 30 pages will suffice is if you have 500 words per page, which would mean you're writing single-space.  Of course, I don't know what margins, headers-footers-page numbering, or etc. you use.  Out of curiosity, how many pages long is your ms?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 01:28:23 PM by eric »

Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors don’t die; They play with cats
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 01:28:14 PM »
Orang, you are not alone.  Any number of ??? on MWC are willing to help encluding me. ;D
How do you get one of those mentors. I must say Wolfe has been a great help to me. ;)

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 01:43:36 PM »
At the moment my mss is 361 pages and 115,389 words today.


To JH
Try Jacqui Lofthouse = The Writing Coach.  - You'll have to pay for a professional mentor, but the person I have found is writing my style of novel and is very interested in my premise. Try googling her.  She has come back to me very quickly and already things are moving in less than a week. 

She is also a published author many times over!
Try this link

http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk/

She is a literary consultant.  You can have one month and more of help from her team. It depends on how much you want to pay.

Best of luck

Lin x



« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 01:50:07 PM by Orangutansaver »

Offline Swampfox one

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3306
  • Old Warriors don’t die; They play with cats
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2009, 01:48:32 PM »
thanks, you are always helpful! ;)

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2009, 02:07:24 PM »
That is about 320 words per page, which is possible but a little crowded, I think.

How is your document formatted?  Do you have a three-line header with your name, book title, and chapter? Are the pages numbered at the center bottom?  Do you have one-inch margins on all sides?  Do you have passages with dialog where each new voice starts a new line?

At 320 words per page, you would need to cut 47 pages to meet your goal.

Hope this helps.

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2009, 03:55:54 PM »
Hello Eric

Your quote
How is your document formatted?  Do you have a three-line header with your name, book title, and chapter? Are the pages numbered at the center bottom?  Do you have one-inch margins on all sides?  Do you have passages with dialog where each new voice starts a new line?


Yes I have got all those items you mentioned.  You'll be pleased to hear also I got rid of two unnecessary scenes tonight.  We are now down to 114K words instead of 120K.  Ill keep going until I find its getting a bit dodgy.

I am still getting rid of unnecessary words as well.  I am working with the RNA guidelines so what you said above I have to do.  You're right my mentor should be able to help after next week.

Thanks

Lin



« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 03:58:38 PM by Orangutansaver »

Offline eric

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10576
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2009, 04:34:17 PM »
Do you use 12-point font, Times New Roman, all double spaced (paragraphs indented in the first lines)?

If so, and only if so, you might have less than 114,000 words in reality.  I do not always trust computer counters, especially MS Word.  The basic rule of thumb for an average, properly formatted page of manuscript is 250 words.  About 360 pages at 250 words per equals 90,000 words.  And about 360 pages at 300 words per equals 108,000 words.  You are already in the  ballpark with the first figure.  You'd have a relatively simple editing job with the second figure.  You'll have major surgery, involving a lot of pain, with the 114,000 word figure--it's almost twice as much as the second, and will involve much reworking.  You'll have maybe twenty plus extra pages to delete with the higher figure.

The way to tell if the computer's lying is to manually count the words on a page (divide the number of words in three representative lines chosen at random by three, then multiply by the number of lines on the page) for three consecutive pages chosen at random, take the average, and multiply by 360.  If you get a number dramatically different than what the computer is telling you, be curious.  Going through the process again for a double-check is never a bad idea.

Some publishers go by the MS Word count, but many prefer tried-and-true estimates.  Ask your consultant about this.

But I think what you want to do is talk to the consultant about any serious surgery you will want to do to improve the story, rather than going piecemeal to reduce 1000 words here and 1000 words there.  You probably have a lot that needs to be not said, and this will make a big difference in your ultimate word count.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 05:48:20 PM by eric »

Offline emma112

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1579
  • Fantasy heals the wounds of reality.
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 06:12:56 PM »
Hey, Lin!

I would love to help you out! Maybe you could send me some of the scenes that you don't know what to do with and I'll have a look and see whether I can take some words out for you, if you like.
It's great that you've got a consultant to help you with this, I'm sure she'll be of great use!

Good luck!

Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 02:42:28 AM »
Do you use 12-point font, Times New Roman, all double spaced (paragraphs indented in the first lines)?


Yes I do abide by the rules as above.  I will look at this situation again according to your comments.  See if my word counter is lying!

I think I can do it.  Although its going to be a bit heartbreaking in places, but I think my mentor will be pretty good at this as she is very conversant with my genre and the fact is she has lived on a remote island and understands the feel of my story very much.  I get the feeling we will be in tune with each other.  We both love bird life and I am happy we can work together.

I gather words such as can't, won't. we'll and This'll  are classed as one word



After this week end I will be starting on a new draft, chapter by chapter and I feel confident I can get it down to 110K words before I reach the end, then  I'll stop there as my mentor will kick in before I ruin the whole story.

I got rid of a favourite scene, but I thought it was unnecessary to the story, just a bit of interest and fun from the traumas of the plot.   Some light relief for the reader, but when I looked at this, it was not important.  So that's gone now!  I will have to alter another piece of text which refers to that scene, so more words will go.

When we complete this whole deleting process, my plan is to read it through on a hard copy and see if it is the same (if not better) story than the one I started with.  I hope so!! LOL  Thanks everyone.

Lin x






« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 03:01:44 AM by Orangutansaver »

Lin

  • Guest
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 04:05:02 AM »
Update

Well Ive done that and discovered the following

I now have 353 pages
An average of 15 words per line
25 lines to a page

multiplied by 353 gives me 132 375 words  MS Word Count says I have 113 800

Now I do have a few pages that have only a few lines on them due to commencing a new chapter which has to be started on a new page according to the guidelines.

So now I have to find those pages and subtract them from the page count. So say I have 27 chapters and each one starts on a new page.  I deduct say 25 pages and I am left with approx 122K words which is far removed from my 113K

This is getting sillier by the minute, at the above rate I won't have any story left at all.  I may as well give up!  Who or what do I believe?



Lin x
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 04:19:12 AM by Orangutansaver »

Offline emma112

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1579
  • Fantasy heals the wounds of reality.
Re: I have to lose 30 pages - HELP!!
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 06:22:00 AM »
Don't give up, Lin!
Trust me, it will all work out in the end!
Don't get too stressed out by this, you might end up doing something that may ruin the book, so just try and think positive.
It will all make more sense next week when you get your consultant. She will help you a lot and a whole weight will be lifted from your shoulders.

Good luck!

Emma x x x
Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us - Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)