If you’ve stumbled across this post, I am editing a novel. At this moment I have edited 99,254 words of my 120,620 word manuscript. A week ago I was around the 90k mark, but there is some deception in the numbers. At that time the manuscript contained 120,000 words, but I have added much, maybe 4,000 words. If you do the math, this means I have also deleted some 4,600 words. I have many more words to delete to get to the 100,000 target arbitrarily assigned new authors.

Honestly, I tried to delete as many words as I could over this summer. Seriously. Really I did. But almost everything I worked on ended up growing. All my writing was needed. During this last week, my opinion of much of my story has changed.

I now work on the final leg of my journey, the Plains Of Mordor. What a dreadful place it is too. The land is barren and sere, it’s covered in odd-sized boulders and rocks, and it crawls with ugly orcs. It is the land of the dead, and all of those necessary passages I kept are now haunting me. They scream in my ear “why didn’t you continue with me?” or “that’s not what I was going to do!” or “I’m so fecken bored, just shoot me, please.” So much of what I have written is now showing itself to be wrong, and it has drained my mind. I want to lay down and never see this piece of shit ever again.

Except today I edited a wonderful scene. I trimmed it nicely. I removed the extra curls, trimmed the eyebrows, and plucked its nose hairs. It is now clean and presentable and a strong component of a great story. Never mind the rest of the story doesn’t quite support it. What I knew would happen is happening, but it’s still painful.

My plan is simple and straightforward. I am going to edit the rest of this story as best I can. I know the ending is fairly true, so I will clean it up as best I can. I will slay any useless children. I will slit the darlings’ throats with a clean, sharp fish-knife. I will toss the remains in the ditch and laugh.

And then I will start over. I will bring a shotgun this time, plus a crossbow, a sabre, an M16, a Luger, a Remington 9mm, and an American policeman’s nightstick. I will search out and destroy these evil little demons. I will root them out and assassinate their sorry asses right out of my story and replace them, if necessary, with the handful or less of emptiness left behind.

f somebody wants to buy me one of these, I won’t complain. I may need it.

Back to work.

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