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Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday--your best search resources

Welcome to our Friday visit!  We're going to take care of this business, then I have some things of my own to talk about.

For Elizabeth Sharp one of the most useful tool in my writing arsenal is Urban dictionary. What is your most referred to website for your writing?
Okay, I've not visited the Urban Dictionary, but I will now.  For writing site links, I visit Jane Friedman/There Are No Rules/Writer's Digest websites and Kristine Katherine Rusch's blog  I write about such diverse characters, I search everywhere.  BTW, I use bing more than Google as a search engine.  Don't know why, I just do. 
Now, if you're interested in following the Follow Friday Blog Hop
The rules:
  • 1)      Follow this blog.
  • 2)      Follow Elizabeth Sharp, the host of this hop
  • 3)      Follow the featured author of the week. Michelle Ferguson
  • 4)      Go to Sharp words and copy the image code found there and paste it in your blog. Add your name to the link at the bottom of the post while you are there.
  • 5)      Copy and paste the rules in your blog, as well as this week’s question.
  • 6)      Answer the question
  • 7)      Follow, follow, follow. This is about networking, people, making connections with people in your community. So talk to us. We don't bite! This post serves as a perfect place for you to say hello!
  • 8)      If someone stops by, says hi and follows you, the polite thing to do is follow back.
  • 9)      Comment here and introduce yourself and you just might find a new follower or two.
Now, having mentioned Jane Friedman:
I'm a follower of Jane Friedman, , after hearing her speak last year through a local writers' group.  One of her links this week was for Laurie Rosin, , who had a couple of articles/blogs that were also published in Writer's Digest, which Jane works for.

The first was labeled, "Tighten Up," where she asks "Why do novices produce paper Everests?"  Rosin explains that it is very rare for an acquisitions editor to chance accepting a manuscript over 100,000 words for economic reasons.  Also, no matter what that author says, there is always room to revise a manuscript and the task is daunting for a new writer when they have to go through something so huge. 

*sigh*  Here is where I admit my manuscript for Seven Days was originally almost 700 pages.  Now, I admit I had a lot of unnecessary and duplicate scenes in there.  My original thought was how cool it would be to have an overlap as it were of a bit of dialog here and there from two different points of view.  Also, I still had tons of notes about back stories and characters that I hadn't even touched.   I got it down to 584 pages simply by changing the point of view to first person and some not too painful revisions.  But, Rosin isn't the only one saying that we shouldn't give an editor/agent/reader an excuse to turn us down. 

So, I put on my big girl panties and started cutting.  Now, I was careful to put what I cut from both edits in folders on my computer, Just In Case there was something to sprinkle back in later or if I wanted to publish an "alternative version" as an ebook when I'm rich and famous (yeah, it could happen, rabbit).  But I was slashing.  And you know what?  There was a lot of stuff that could go. 

It killed me to cut a favorite scene from a sister's point of view, but this book wasn't her story.  She gets her voice in the next book, Seven Months.  Rosin also suggested  in another very helpful article, "Stellar Revisions," you really don't need a scene showing someone making a plane reservation when you have a scene later with her either on the plane or in another city.  There's also, "Replace Discussion with Action," which will help as I have quite a bit of dialog and that takes up more space.  Finally, she says, "View the revision process as a fascinating mind game, a Puzzle for the Intelligent."  It is kind of fun, but I definitely have to be in a mood for it.  If I'm tired or distracted, I won't be able to cut or rewrite anything.

My story starts on a Monday night.  Last month, the last Tuesday scene was on page 183 and the whole thing was 584 pages.  One version at a whopping 568 pages had a word count of 125,156.  Last night, Tuesday ended on page 143 and I had the whole thing down to 529 pages.   I'm going to be cutting most of Thursday, quite a bit of Saturday and I'm well on my way to my goal of getting it below 400 pages. 

So, this creates another problem.  I see from previous passes little errors, like extra spaces or fragments that got missed in the cut.  The mouse pad on my laptop is well worn and when I'm highlighting something to cut, it goes too quickly taking up pages instead of paragraphs, even though I set the speed slower on the Control board.  When I get done with this hard edit, I'll put it aside for a few days at least, then go back to look at it with fresh eyes.  Lord knows, I don't want to reference something earlier or later that was cut. 

Anyone else out there with a monster to edit?  Someday, when everything is E, maybe length won't matter.  But, as for now, I'm a cutting fool. 


  1. Is bing better than google? I've never heard of it.

  2. I haven't tried bing or that author's page. I will have to check them both out! Thanks.

  3. Julius and Lizzie--bing is on my HP toolbar right beside the Google and they had a big ad campaign last year. I got used to using it at a former job, that blocked Google. Shoutouts to Jane and Kris. They both rock and I've learned so much from them! Thanks for stopping by and see you in the next week.

  4. I am familiar with your references. I'd love to hear Jane Friedman speak! What a monster of a MS you have, wow!! Sounds like you have cut a lot already. Good luck with your edits!

  5. Thanks for all the great recommendations, Julee! And it sounds like you are well on your way with your edits. Can't wait to see the end results!

  6. Loved your post, Julee. I seem to have the opposite problem... trying to add another word to my MS was like trying to have double desserts on Thanksgiving. Oh well. I just downloaded a trial copy of Scrivener and it seems to make organization and editing pretty easy. If you're interested, here's the link.

    There's a tutorial video that gives you a peek at its capabilities. I'm not exactly eager to learn more software, but it might help. Happy writing and I'll see you next week!

  7. Thanks, guys--Friedman is a brill speaker with a great sense of humor! Thanks, Victoria, I will take a look at Scrivener. See you all next week!

  8. Hi Julee - Great post. Cutting is good..but! I put the pieces in another folder just in case I need them, or ideas, later.

    Glad you enjoyed My Hero...and thanks for those great links. P

  9. Everyone is so used to Google. I have tried Bing and not real crazy about it.