So I’ve been writing away on the next book trying to get it finished, and working like crazy over the holidays. And unfortunately eating right along with the pages. As a result my book seems to have grown rather, ahem, fat on that diet. Apparently a steady influx of fudge, cookies and candy canes has a way of sneaking pages into your manuscript, while also adding to the writer’s bottom line.
(That in itself is a subject for another day).
But as for my current dilemma, I glanced up at my page count the other day as I’ve been doing my clean up work on Mad About the Duke and was thrilled because it was coming out perfect–until I got to the middle of the book and realized this huge section was missing.
Gone. Poof. As in not there. Now aside from the need for air and medical intervention via Writer 911, I finally did find the pages and tucked them into their rightful place, and to my horror saw my page count go up, and up, and up and then over what I can turn in. 420 pages? And I still have a love scene and half of another chapter to fit in.
I can see my dear and beloved editor falling out of her chair if my book hit her desk like the NYC Yellow Pages, and so to avoid having to call Editor 911 on her behalf, I know I have to do something.
Rather, something has to go.
I hate getting out my red Uniball and drawing big red X’s across a scene, but I do it nearly every book. You might not know it, but there is a huge chunk of How I Met My Countess that got axed in much the same fashion. Sorry, but the fun ballroom scene where Clifton and Malcolm take the sisters out to prove that society will welcome them (which it doesn’t) got the Uniball bloodbath.
But this time, I don’t think I can just chainsaw out a chapter and call it good. I am going to have to do some really precision cutting and thoughtfully remove some, ahem, fat. But what to cut?
I think I’ll bake a batch of sugar cookies and mull it over. But then again, I suspect the cookies are the real problem here . . .
So how are you getting rid of your holiday excess?