I have done it! I have finished the revisions on STONE COLD, book #2 of the spinoff series from the Allie Beckstrom books. Book #1, HELL BENT will be out in November, and STONE COLD will be out in April next year.
Revision start date: August 2
Revision end date: August 28
Days working: 27
Days off: 0
Word count of original: 78,000+
Word count of revised: 90,500
Words cut and replaced: 13,500+
Overall new words written: 26,000
So, really, we can say I only averaged about 1,000 new words a day. That’s a little low since I did my best to save the words I cut so I could keep track, but I often just went delete crazy and took sentences out in swaths. Those words aren’t accounted for.
What did I revise, other than cleaning up dialogue, passive verbs, and making sure the funny shone through?
One of the emotional arcs for a character had to be pulled out and replaced with something stronger. My editor noted that an adjustment might need to be made, but it was my decision to rip that sucker out and do a full replacement. That involved reworking current scenes, or writing new scenes to account for and react to those changes, and of course getting the structure/foreshadowing in there to support all that tinkering. I think it was the right choice. Hopefully, my editor (and readers) will agree.
I also greatly changed a big showdown scene. As I pointed out in an earlier post, magic can’t trump everything. No wave-a-wand fix-it-all for these books. Magic always comes with a price to pay. So even when magic is on the playing field, there needs to be personal sacrifice and personal desires at stake–for the winners, for the losers, for the bad guys, good guys, and any other guys (and gals, of course).
Victory and failure distill and become more powerful when the human heart and soul are on the line. For me, that creates powerful story telling–the kind of stories I love to experience both as a writer and a reader.
And a powerful story experience (one that will make me laugh, cry, or turn the pages faster than my eyes can track) is what I’m aiming for. *fingers crossed*