I tried. I really did. After almost two months of cutting, (I finished at the beginning of November) my manuscript hit a plateau and refused to budge. Like most diets, there were good days and bad days. Usually it was a matter of finding a chunk of text that was easily removed, cleaning things up around the edges of the edit, clarifying one or two points, and discovering my word count within 10 words of where I started. I know it’s too fat. But I’m so close to it all I can see is that it fills the mirror. It’s readable and hopefully not horrible, and is now in the hands of my critiquers.
Early reports are positive. I’m told there are multiple opportunities for brevity, and some areas early on lag a bit. My critique group will give me their in depth analysis soon, but it is also wonderful to get input from people who have not been involved in the long slog of creating this book. I am blessed to have several family members who understand that liking my book is all well and good, but it’s the parts they don’t like that I want to know about. Their input in making this manuscript better will be invaluable.
The vast majority of us write as a solitary endeavor. Hours spent sitting alone in front of the computer listening to the voices in our heads. Bringing this work out into the light of day is, for me, the only way to keep going. If not for my critique group and their demand that I produce something every two weeks, this book would not exist. So to Brenda and Alison (the afore mentioned group) and my other reader/critiquers (so far), Mary, Levi, Lois, and Lacey, if this thing ever gets published, you’ll be in the acknowledgments. Until then, thank you all.