Things have been going well on the revision front this past month. I'm still finding that relatively small changes are fixing my hard scary problems, so I'm zooming right along on this millionth pass through the manuscript. Well, zooming compared to the speed of any of my other passes, so at least that's something.
As part of the process, I'm once again making a bit of headway on shortening my too-long novel. I've cut or abbreviated a bunch of scenes that don't serve enough of a purpose or that seemed to drag while I was reading aloud. And I'm yet again trimming unnecessary words and sentences all over the place, because apparently I didn't get them all last time.
Or maybe someone has been adding words to my manuscript while I'm not looking. Otherwise how could I have let the following piece of dialogue survive to this point?:
"Tell Meredith I'm ready for my ice cream."
"You want ice cream?"
"Meredith always brings me ice cream."
I returned to the kitchen. "He says you always bring him ice cream?"
I was aware that my characters were possibly a little too obsessed with ice cream, but this sounds like a comedy routine without a punchline.
That mischievous somebody is probably also responsible for the fact that the same unusual verbs keep appearing over and over again throughout the story. I've been tracking down occurrences of "crammed" and "gaped" this week. I also have my eye on the rather too popular activity of characters touching one other on the shoulder, which could lead to problems, namely, reader boredom.
In my ongoing angst over paragraph breaks, I've now become concerned that I have too many short paragraphs, and I've been merging some of these together. After long, painful periods of thought, of course. You see why this is all going so slowly?
But seriously, I'm zooming along over here. It's like I might even be done someday.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ The New York Times asked a variety of authors to comment on how new technologies influence fiction: "This new place [the internet] needs to be studied; it needs geographers, anthropologists and economists. There’s a new visual and conceptual grammar -- just as we learned how to look at paintings, so too have we developed ways of looking and being in cyberspace," says Charles Yu. (Thanks, The Millions!)