As I go over it--hopefully for the last time--I have noticed a few revision facts that have given me pause. Like:
- From the first draft to the last, I have trimmed over 40,000 words. (Holy cow.)
- If you count all of the individual passes, it has been through over 15 revisions. (Gulp.)
- Three of those revisions were Major. About two-thirds of the rest were line-edits.
- I trimmed over 400 instances of the word "that."
- I changed over 250 en dashes to em dashes (don't want the copyeditor to kill me...).
- I can be very wordy and convoluted.
- Sometimes I don't even know what I meant. (Bad sign.)
To be fair, at least 30,000 of those cut words were trying to find the story and often were just me telling myself the story in the first draft (kind of like Laini Taylor's Working Doc, but right there in the manuscript).
I can already see that what I've learned in the first novel, I'm putting into practice with the second. In this second novel, I wrote 20,000 fewer words in the first draft, so hopefully that means I'll only be cutting another 20,000 in the revision!
I'm also learning to recognize my weaknesses and play to my strengths. So even those 40,000 words I had to cut have not been wasted. I hope to use them to make the next project better.