So today I reached the 45,000 word milestone in my draft 2 revisions for LD2. Interestingly, in draft 1, this was the 50,000 word milestone (no clue what it was during my rough draft, which you’d think I’d remember as I wrote that one for last years NaNoWriMo). This really draws attention to one of the most important part of the revising process, cutting out the extra fat. One of the biggest things I worry about in this portion of the revision process is “does this read smoothly.” I don’t want my reader stumbling over extra words, or getting lost in thick sections of backstory (sometimes they’re necessary, and even interesting, but it’s easy to go overboard). One of the things I do to try to achieve this is A LOT of reading out loud while revising. Finish a page? Go back and read it out loud. Finish a chapter? Read it out loud. A section? The whole book? Same and same. Sometimes, I wonder what my neighbors (or the random people that hang out on our front steps then GLARE at you as you have the audacity to walk into your own apartment. My neighborhood is kind of weird) think about the whole thing. The walls probably muffle most of the words, but I suspect it sounds a lot like I do a lot of talking to myself.
For the most part, I want my style to be pretty transparent, just a way to carry the read through the good stuff. This might sound strange, because as a reader, I love beautiful prose. But for all I might enjoy the gorgeous writing of Catherynne Valente, Margaret Atwood, or Felix J. Palma (or Felix’s J Palma’s English translator. I never know who to credit), I know that I could be ten times the writer I am now and not be able to write like that. And that’s okay. There are plenty of writers I love with a straightforward style.
Next landmark, 50,000 words.