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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Joni Sensel tells us how to cut out the boring stuff


As I approach revision of not one but two novels, I get excited when running across revision gems. Over at Darcy Pattison's Revision Notes, exciting things are always happening - like Joni Sensel talking about how she cut two novels down into one for her fastpaced adventure, The Farwalker's Quest.

From a 121,000-word manuscript, she cut nearly 30,000 bits of boringness. (Wow...)

How??? Joni talks about 6 Techniques for trimming the fat from her manuscript and getting it down to a lean, mean, and exciting story. An excerpt:

Use chapter breaks. What can you leave out between chapters? THE MARK OF THE HORSELORD by Rosemary Sutcliff taught me a huge lesson. This favorite of mine makes huge leaps in story time between the end of one chapter and the start of the next. In some cases, she left out things I wanted to see. (But did I need to see them? Obviously not.) Generally, it worked well and kept the action hopping. I think we tend to live with our characters minute by minute, but readers only need the relevant moments.

Read the rest of Joni's great tips at Darcy's blog.

And, if you're in the Seattle area, you can celebrate Joni's release of The Farwalker's Quest at The Secret Garden Bookshop this Friday night: 7-10pm, 2214 NW Market St. in Seattle. Hope to see you!

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