Word Count Wednesday: The Chop-Shop Draft


As I’m on the road for September and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Gold Conference, I’ve been working on revising the manuscript with the finishing touches. What has amazed me in these first few weeks is how much this draft is getting chopped.

Coming in at over 101,500 words, I knew the manuscript was coming in heavy on word-count. So this approach has been asking if the words were absolutely necessary to the plot, characters, and overall narrative structure. What’s astonishing is how much you implement that isn’t required for the story. You spend so many hours developing your world, and feel like so much is needed. But when you ask “Is this absolutely needed?” it’s insane how many times you can say no.

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I currently have 9094 words completed on this second to last draft. After this, it’ll be the “Where’s that one sentence, or spelling, error?” draft. I’m pretty adamant to keep this draft under 100,000 words and am pretty sure it’s going to happ

en. After all, my manuscript, in the Word document, is at 45 pages. On the previous draft, this same chapter ended at 61 pages. So this shortly into the draft, I’ve already shaved quite a few pages.

This will be really great to see a tightly woven manuscript that embraces the claustrophobic atmosphere of the Thales faster, and leaves them in peril for the majority of the narrative, an amazing suggestion from Jessica Engman, my editorial consultant.

How are you doing on your manuscript? I’m tracking my word count through the app, wait for it, called “Word Count.” Share your progress in the comments section, or tweet me @ThomasAFowler.

If you missed Tuesday’s post on Finding Readership through Target Demographics, look no further. Click here to read up. The accompanying YouTube video, focusing on the topic at hand, is just below, too. Thanks for stopping by; keep kicking some ass and be proud of what you do.

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