Thursday, July 15, 2010

WIP Thursday?

First of all I've been hovering at 249 followers all week! I swear I don't obsess over something as petty as followers (yeah right) but 250 is such a nice, round number. Could someone please go make their family pet a follower of my blog? I don't care if Fido ever comes back to read (but if he does he better comment) or not. Seriously.

Other than that I can't come up with much to say today. Part of the problem is that I drive to work at 5:30 in the morning. It's still quite dark out. And yet, AND YET, by the time I get here I am already sweaty. I hate Georgia Summers. There, I said it.


A couple of you asked last week for an update on WARRIOR-MONKS, my current WIP. So I will give it to you. As you may or may not know the first draft was astronomically long. I managed to cut to 300,000 words (yes new followers, that's correct, no it's not a typo) before I realized it was going to take something more than normal editing to fix it.

So I embarked on a massive re-write from a third person perspective that vibrated somewhere past objective and closer to omniscient, into first person. My novel is essentially YA so first person is rather fitting, drawing the reader into the heart and mind of my MC right away. But even better than that is the fact that first person forces some of the descriptions and scenes into the realm of impossibility. If Lee wasn't there to see them (or dream them, whatever) then they didn't happen.

My crit group and I share a chapter with each other at least once a month but often every three weeks or so. We haven't existed for very long so so far we've only shared two chapters (of my book, others have shorter chapters so they share multiples as long as the word count is fair). The good news is that so far my new, re-written chapters are approximately half the length of the previous ones, and I haven't even gotten to the longest parts yet.

What that means, I hope, is that with only the perspective change the new manuscript will end up somewhere near 150,000 words long. Then with help from Ted, Ben and Simon I can figure out a way to cut another 30,000 words or so. Then I'll have a novel of a length that at least I can dream about getting published.

Wish me luck.

25 comments:

Justine Dell said...

Edits...ewh. But it sounds like you are making some great progress! Good luck ;-)

~JD

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, that's a lot you've cut out so far!

Emily White said...

Good for you! Good luck!

Robyn Campbell said...

My horses want to join, but they haven't set their blogs up yet. You will get that follower.

It sounds to me that your massive rewrite is just what the doctor ordered.

My problem was adding words. UGH. But I did and the novel is soo good. So now I'm finally ready to say, "lucky agents, you get to represent me." hehe

Good luck. It'll happen. And it's HOT in NC. too. The AC is sooo sweet. Glad we have one out here on the farm. Take care! :0)

Christina Lee said...

Good for you on forward movement! But wow it still boggles my mind--your one novel would be two of mine. You obviosly have more to say than I do --lol!

Piedmont Writer said...

Wow, go you Matthew! I know how hard it is to cut your ms. but changing the POV too! You're a better man than I Gunga Din.

And I'm glad Fatty is feeling better.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Ha! I know how you feel. My first draft was 300K. After multiple open-heart surgeries, I eventually had a draft of 94K. And then I got to hear the two greatest words in the English language: please expand.

Makes me a little teary-eyed still.

Vicki Rocho said...

That is AWESOME! Very promising. You have saved the original file somewhere, right? In case you need to steal bits and pieces for sequels? Or just for giggles and nostalgia?

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

And see? I realized for some reason I actually wasn't following (well, being forgetful helps). So, happy 250. You can have a little jamboree now.

Matthew Rush said...

Oh yes Vicki, I have multiple versions. Even the old rough draft that weighed in at a massive 477k. I hold on to it for posterity, and for laziness so that I can mine deleted scenes for sequels.

Palindrome said...

Good luck! I have the opposite problem when I write first drafts. They are very short and concise, just the scenes in a very basic manner. But I'm okay with having to add things.

Matthew Rush said...

Holy crap Bryan! Shame on you ... and Props on you! Thanks so much.

*clicks heels and does a minor Irish jig beneath his desk*

Tahereh would be ashamed at me for worrying so much about silly numbers.

Candyland said...

You don't need luck, bud. You've got the talent.

salarsenッ said...

We're in the same boat, Matt. Chin up and barrel forward through the unneeded words and settings. Even though a scene, paragraph, or sentence may be well written, it may not be needed. (That's a hard one.)

Ted Cross said...

I have a feeling that once we read far enough, we'll get a big picture perspective and be able to give you ideas for how to cut whole chapters and such. Right now we can't do that!

Falen (Sarah) said...

ooh! I don't think you'll have any problems cutting 30K once you get it down to 150. Just tightening each sentence will help a lot with that

Matthew Rush said...

Ted, I can't reply to your comment with email - do you not have your address associated with your blogger account? Oh whatev. I'm sure you're right, it's still way too early for those kinds of suggestions - but one day ...

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

It's so easy to do, especially if you're working with fantasy. My first fantasy ms was 200k words, and I cut it to 110K. It's still not fully revamped, but I've shelved it for the moment. I suspect I can get it closer to 95K, too. You can do it! You're making good progress. Thank goodness for a good crit group, too!

And congrats on the 250 followers! You did it!!

DEZMOND said...

WARRIOR-MONKS???? I can already imagine a charming book cover for that one :)

Heather Kelly said...

That's awesome that you're digging in and not running away screaming at the thought of cutting over half your words. And, I love the switch to first person--good on so many levels. Sounds like you are making great progress!!

Eric W. Trant said...

You'll have 3 novels when you're finished.

That, or a blunt weapon.

On the POV, you don't need 1st to go deep. You can still do a deep-level 3rd POV.

- Eric

Talli Roland said...

Good luck with edits, Matthew. I feel your pain!

Old Kitty said...

And you've got your nice 250th follower!!! Yay!! Here's to the next 250!!

Good luck with your WIP!! Glad to hear the crit group is working and going well for you!

Keep at it! Take care
x

Lenny said...

hi mr matthew! i was trying to be your 250 follower but someone beat me to it so now im 251. was that 250 that dog you were talking about? ha ha. its good to know what you need to do to get your book fixed up and good that youre doing it. keep going and itll get done and then i could see it at the bookstore.
...smiles from lenny

Matthew Rush said...

Hi Lenny! Every time I see your picture and see your words it makes me smile. Your attitude is truly uplifting my man and I am SO glad to have you as the first follower of the second fourth of a thousand on my blog!

You're the best my friend. Please keep spreading the sunshine on me and all my friends.