Killing my darlings
Hi all, I’m flying in to apologize for the lack of recent posts — I’m madly racing (I just typed that as raving, and it’s not far wrong, LOL.) towards the end of the book and planning to send it in to my editor at the end of the week. I’m almost finished — just two scenes to go — a wedding and an epilogue — but that’s not my problem.
The wip (work in progress) is too long — over 115,000 words. My usual books are between 95,000 and 100,000 words long (well, except for The Perfect Rake, which was 126,000 words, but that was my first book with Berkley and I didn’t know any better). Now, you might say that the length of the book doesn’t matter to you, and I’d agree: as long as a book keeps me turning the pages, I don’t care how long it is.
No, the problem is the printing process — specifically it’s a paperback problem. E-books are fine. But with paperbacks, my publisher tends to make the books pretty much the same number of pages each time — around 320 pages maximum, and that means no matter what the number of words in the manuscript, they will shrink the print to fit the number of pages. Which means in some cases, small print with close together lines, and it’s hard to read for some people.
And so I get emails from people, complaining. Not that I can do anything about it.
So I’m cutting words, and even though I know that cutting always makes a book stronger, it’s hard. I’m cutting bits I really like, but that don’t actually need to be in the book. You know what they (writers) say — “Kill your darlings.” So I’m madly killing darlings.
I’ll share some of them if you’re interested, but later, after my editor has seen the manuscript and I’ve revised it. I’ll be asking her if she can see any more darlings to kill.
In the meantime, keep well and healthy, and try to find joy in small moments.
I’m enjoying the flowering of my tangled garden. This is my lilac, just coming into bloom, and the jasmine is covering my side fence in fragrant gorgeousness. I love flowers with scent.