Slimming Down

I finished the second draft of XIII: STROPHE yesterday, and I must say it turned out pretty well. One of my objectives with the second draft was to cut down on the word count. The first draft’s word count was something like 108k, and that was way too long for a YA paranormal romance.

I counted up the words for the second draft and the total was 81k, which is much better. While I was writing, I chose not to rely on getting a certain word count for each chapter, but instead I finished each chapter when I felt it was done and there was nothing more to write. That way, some of the chapters had 900 words. Two of them had over 3,000 words. The majority had somewhere around 1,300 to 1,500 words.

I plan on comparing the two drafts and deciding whether or not I ought to keep some of the stuff from the older one to fit into the newer one, or whether certain things might have worked better in the old draft. I realized, as I was writing the second draft, that there were parts of the first draft that flowed better. And I realized that in order to slim down my word count, I had to take away some of the scenes I liked. Well, I suppose when I read back through I’ll make sure I removed the right scenes.

For the most part, I like the second draft. It makes more sense, isn’t so “all over the place,” and I got rid of the gaping plot hole from the first draft. In order to tell if I really like it, I may have to read both drafts in one sitting, one right after the other. But for now I’ll give the story a rest and move on to the next rewrite.

5 thoughts on “Slimming Down

  1. First, of course, congratulations on finishing the draft. I’m gathering that you wrote it from scratch, rather than cutting and pasting from draft #1? That sounds like a good plan.

    And I definitely agree with letting the chapters end when they want to. Otherwise I think the rhythm can get too predictable, like a TV show or a Hardy Boys mystery.
    And I completely understand the importance of slimming down (well, in writing, anyway 🙂 ). I’m really working on that with my current project. I just finishing Part One and it’s 6,725 words, which is pretty much exactly the length I was hoping for.

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