Many of my writerly friends face the problem of writing too long. They pen a 120,000-word fantasy novel and then try to trim it down. Maybe it’s my journalistic background or those years penning magazine articles, but I have the opposite problem. My first drafts are often short, and in following drafts I have to slow the story down, let it breathe, dig deeper into my characters’ hearts and minds and psyches and add layers.
That’s precisely what I’m doing with my current WIP. It started out as a 15K novelette that I wrote for a call for submissions for short Valentine’s stories. I soon learned, though, that the story needed to be much longer, and abandoned my quest to submit it to that particular call for submissions (which only wanted stories under 20K). I penned a second draft that doubled the story’s length to about 30K. And now, here I am in 2016, working on a third draft that should be around 40-45K.
My main concern is giving the romance time to develop. There was a scene in the second draft that could’ve been powerful and full of tension, but it happened so suddenly that there wasn’t time for that tension to build. In the third draft I hope to change that, adding a slow build of romantic tension so that scene really packs a punch.
I’m learning this is my process. Get the story out there, however long it is, and find ways to deepen it in subsequent drafts.
Last, a brief midweek ROW80 check-in:
- Edited two chapters and wrote 1,968 words in the third draft of A Prince in Patience Point.
- Did yoga Tuesday night—stress relief yoga for beginners (one of three for the week).
- Checked in on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook on both Monday and Tuesday.
- No progress yet on reading any books on the craft/business of writing.
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What about you? Are you the type of writer who takes things out or puts them in? What’s your process like?