Reverse editing?

Most of the writer friends that I hear from talk about how they need to cut 10,000 words (or whatever number) from their story to get it down to what they need. I find myself in the opposite position. Draft 1 clocked in at 80,000. Now I have an entire scene that I need to insert into the story, and am actually struggling to make the seams line up smoothly. I’ve decided that there needs to be a troll attack soon. IF not, the whole first part of the trip will be more of a casual stroll through the woods than the escape / flight that it is supposed to be.

How about you? Are you currently adding or subtracting from your story? How do you make the edges match up in either case?

–j–

10 thoughts on “Reverse editing?”

  1. I’m currently not doing much of anything right now as far as writing goes because work has been so crazy. But with TGW, I did go back after draft four and write in quite a few scenes. I tried to make the edges match up by giving small clues before the new scenes. Sometimes I’m not sure you need the edges to match completely because sometimes mismatched edges happen in real life. Oooo, I just had a deep thought! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. You’re lucky, I find adding stuff in way easier than trimming. Right now I’m shaving off bits here & there in the hope of leaving enough headroom to add a couple of new scenes.

    Knitting it all together is tough. The only way I’ve found is to read through from way before to way after the changes to see if it all hangs together still. I have to be alert to introduced repetitions. It’s amazing how often I’ll add in a bit to beef up one part, only to find I’d already done something similar (or even contradictory) later on.

  3. Hard as I tried to lower the word count, I found myself expanding during the last couple drafts of Serenya’s Song. I felt it just needed to be done to flesh out some scenes and characters to make them believable. I do believe the adage: A story should be as long as it needs to be. Whether that means you should shorten or expand. The only cutting now will be chopping out what the editor advises ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mysti

  4. Believe it or not, on my current work, I’m adding, adding, adding. Because people ask for it. I need to get more into world building, so I might actually break this 96k book into 3 separate ones ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Yay, deep thoughts! I heard the TGW had major changes done to it. I can’t wait to read the final copy.

    –j–

  6. Ugh, I have the same problem. I’ll explain something in one chapter, and then two chapters later I’ll say the same thing, almost word for word. I guess the good news is that I must really like how I said it if if came out the same way twice!

    –j–

  7. I am mostly afraid of the ending of TPtP. With the change to Mirian’s motivation, plus the rough shape I left some aspects of those scenes, I fear I will be doing some major rewriting.

    –j–

  8. 3 books? Wow. I think 96k is still ok for one book, but if you keep adding, then I guess it makes sense.

    I need to work on developing my characters feelings more. Someone keeps telling me to beef that up. :^P

    –j–

  9. I’m adding at the moment. After it cools for a few weeks, I’ll cut–a lot.

    The thing about getting the edges to align when you insert a scene–try this: Don’t think of the scene as having edges, so much as tendrils. You’ve little scene-shoots that stretch whisper thin into the pages before and after the body of scene. You want to weave those those into your narrative, subtly. A bit of foreshadowing. Some conversation about trolls in a prior chapter, maybe.

    Then when the attack comes, your POV character thinks, “So. This is where all those travelers were lost last season. Our bones will keep company with theirs…” And battle.

    Later, the same character reflects on the battle and what came from it. And it should have consequences. Otherwise you’re just plugging story holes with action. No good, that.

    Good luck!

  10. Excellent point. That’s probably a much better way of looking at it than edges to smooth.

    Definitely will keep that in mind. Thanks for stopping by!

    –j–

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