October 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm (Writing work)

I’ve finished a new draft of the third Evie novel, and it’s starting to feel like a book now.  Well, at least the story’s now hanging together, which it certainly wasn’t last draft.  Now I just have to spackle it together before handing it to the writers’ group so that they can tell me what sucks about it.

But here’s the thing: I kept a scrap file while I was working on this draft, since a lot of my revisions consisted of cutting and pasting and shifting around whole sections.  (Turns out when you move Chapter 14 to Chapter 3, then it wonks up everything else.  Who knew?)  The novel, as it currently stands, is a little over 100,000 words.

The scrap file?  40,000 words.

I’m starting to think maybe this is not the most efficient method.


  1. Juniper said,

    I was going to say something about “I’ll see your 40K and raise you N,” except that I just went and ran wc (unix wordcount) on my files and, um.

    Perhaps you are right, and it’s not the most efficient method. However, writing is an art, and not a science, so perhaps efficiency is not exactly what we strive for here? (I won’t say it’s not a craft – it’s an art *and* a craft.)

    How much of the scrap file might be usable in another story – short, or otherwise?

  2. mlronald said,

    It’s an art and a craft! And a dessert topping!

    There’s not much that can be reused, sadly. It got cut for a good reason. Good news is that the new draft is going much more smoothly.

  3. mingki said,

    This is a very exciting news for me! I must say I can’t wait to read Wild Hunt and its next!

    I’m been asked to write about ‘Intro to Urban Fantasy’ for a friend’s blog (again, in Thai). and I simply have to put your series for a recommendation list too.

    Kindly keep us all updated!


    • mlronald said,

      Mingki, thank you so much! I’ll keep you updated — right now, it’s hard to even see an end to this revision. I know it’s there, though, and it’ll be better when it’s done.

  4. memphismary said,

    “This is your brain, this is your brain on Spackle…so ‘Dross say no!!'”

    Congrats on finishing the new draft. I really enjoyed Spiral Hunt and am looking forward to reading the second novel…and to think I knew you before you were famous! So now you’ll have to give *me* advice on writing… 🙂

    Sorry to have missed you in Boston, but maybe another time. I hope your talk goes well tonight, and if you ever want to chat, your clone has my email.

    Take care, and many, many, MANY congratulations on your novels!!

  5. mlronald said,

    Mary, thank you so much! I’m sorry I couldn’t see you — the draft has eaten my brain and left nothing behind. But please let me know if you’ll be out in Boston again!

    • memphismary said,

      That’s okay, I totally understand. I’ve had much less exciting and productive things eating my brain lately, so I’m not in the least offended.

      I can’t honestly say I’ll be in Boston again anytime soon; last week was actually the first time I’ve ever been. However, my lovely daughter is very interested in MIT, so we were in town to tour it over her break. If she ends up going, I will most certainly be back, and will be happy to let you know!

      I hope your talk went well last night–keep in touch, and let me know if you ever need another editorial eye! Take care!!

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