The Nobodies: Get to the Choppa!

I don’t know why I named this entry what is. Perhaps I’ve a newfound fondness for poorly-acted Schwarzenegger films. Perhaps I just edited a section with a helicopter in it. Who knows? What I can tell you, though, is this:

I am incredibly busy.

Not even considering the past week’s worth of birthdays or the unfortunate round of catch-up I need to play with my closest acquaintances, I am neck deep in The Nobodies, editing the final character, and having a ball of a time.

When I mentioned this section would require the most edits, I wasn’t far off the mark. Now below 123,000 words, this character’s overly-bloated sections are in dire need of cuts, and I have been relentless. In one example, I took a nearly 1,900 word section and boiled it down to just over 900, leaving more than half on the cutting room floor.

Some may worry this is compromising the integrity of the story, but I’d say it’s actually doing the exact opposite. By removing the superfluous, the flowery language, the unnecessary and somewhat out-of-character responses, the overly-detailed descriptions—especially from this character—it’s reinforcing the integral backstory and laying a more stable foundation for the inevitable conclusion.

Look at it this way: a round of edits I made shortly before writing this post actually made me swear out loud because the resultant section became that brutal. Nothing story-wise was adjusted, but simply reworking some of the words and making the story read more rapidly dramatically changed my overall feelings at its end.

It may help you rest more easily (it certainly has improved my opinion of the book rather drastically, despite the minor change) to know I haven’t just taken away. On the contrary, I’ve added multiple sections. Or, rather, I’ve listed multiple sections to add at a future date, building upon the first and last chapters. Though only outlines and random thoughts exist at the moment, I’ll tackle these immediately after this round of editing has been completed.

If that weren’t enough, while all this was occurring, my confidant extraordinaire completed her read-through of my initial draft and, while she was overwhelmingly positive in her review, had some issues with the third act I myself had been struggling to rectify. We discussed some possibilities and I believe we came to a most satisfactory resolution, involving the truncating of one section and the expansion of three others in hopes of removing a potential source of unwanted confusion.

…avoiding specifics gets really annoying sometimes. Let’s leave it at this: my incredibly busy schedule is going nowhere anytime soon.