Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wrapping up Draft 7

No one could possibly be interested in this detail, but just for the record . . .

I decided to call an end to Draft 7, and I took it to the copy shop to print out. I'll start marking that up with red ink to create Draft 8 soon. Here's hoping it's all sentence level work.

A tally of where we are on page counts, chapter numbering, etc.:

-Chapters: It is now 17 chapters. That's still counting the epilogue as a chapter. I got there by deleting Chapter 8 and Chapter 10. Therefore, the former Chapters 9 is now 8. The former 11 i s now 9. Every following chapter is now two numerals lower, so that that the last Chapter that was 19 is now 17.

-Parts: It was previously broken in 3 parts. Part I was about the first 60% of the book. Part II was after a break in the time of the present action and went through the climax of the story. Part III was the epilogue/last chapter. I decided to break Part I into 2 parts at a moment after Chapter 4 where there is shift in the pressure on the character. Therefore, what was II is now III and what was III is now IV.

-Page count: 328 pages. That's minus 1 more from some slight edits yesterday and then plus one when I added in the page marking Part II. That's minus 65 from the start of this draft and minus about 212 from the version I finished last December. Which is a 39% cut. My reader back then said he thought "it could be half as long." Short of what he suggested, but it wasn't that strong a suggestion.

-Word count: 96,302. If I remember right, my version last December was about 170,000 words. That's about a 44% reduction. That tells me something that I observed without calculating it before which is that the word count comes down faster than the page count. I think that's because what I'm most likely to cut out is exposition as opposed to dialogue, and dialogue takes more space per word. If I cut a paragraph of exposition, I might get out 8 lines of space and 100 words. If I cut 8 lines of dialogue, I gain the 8 lines of space but about 50 words.

-Schedule: My official start on this draft was June 22. (I did have a few odd sessions in the weeks before that.) So, 31 days exactly. Approx. 23 weekdays. A little slower than a chapter per day. If I had had any paying work going on, it definitely would have taken me twice as long. I put in a lot of p.m. sessions that I haven't normally throughout this process.

-Process: I just noticed back in my post for June 22 that I hadn't decided yet if I would do a certain kind of meta-writing on "intention" for the entire book first or one chapter at a time as I went. I ended up doing the latter. It was very helpful too. A way to sharpen my focus and give purpose to my reading and edits each day. I should think of some similar key lense to focus through on this draft so I'm not reading willy nilly.

Alright, off to the next draft. Deep breath.

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