Over the last week I’ve been going through a major round of edits and revisions on the book I’m currently calling ‘A Confession.’ I’ve given copies out to several advanced readers and they’ve given some valuable feedback. I also forced myself to stay away from it for a while so I could look at it with fresh eyes.
Through the process I’ve made some pretty good, simple changes. Fixing tense, adding or removing words, sentences and phrases, etc. Simple editing stuff. But today I took a big cleaver to the book and cut out about 5,000 words from the original draft. Based on a suggestion to change the beginning (which was terrifying at first), I took a larger look at the book as a whole and decided that some of the framing was simply unnecessary. As a result, I’ve removed a major part of what was there in the first draft, in essence deleting of one of the two biggest characters in the story.
It was pretty scary to see all those words go bye-bye. Even “The Letter” which I was so proud of was cut entirely.
I’m now at a much tighter story, and I think I have something that is going to feel much more intimate and immediate to the reader, really drawing them in quite a bit more to the story and investing them more emotionally. It still will need additional read-throughs by others, and I’m going to force myself to stay away from it for a while again while some other people go through it – but as much as I loved my earlier drafts, I am pretty positive I love this one even more.
It’s one of those changes where I’m sure some day I’ll look back and wonder what the hell I was thinking with that first version of the story. At least, I hope that ends up being the case.
Edits are still needed, I’m sure. And I know it needs proofreading… but if you’re interested at all in reading the latest version and giving me your thoughts, drop a comment.