Learning to Write the Hard Way
The wonderful thing about setbacks is that they improve you. I can't help but imagine where I would be if not for that simple, arbitrary word count limit for YA manuscripts. Had my story not exceeded the normal WC for its genre, I might have actually sent it out for people to read! That, I believe, would have been a catastrophe for my self-confidence. Someone would feel compelled to tell me that my writing was not polished, and that I was making all the most common writing mistakes known to man. I discovered in the professional theatre world that my skin is paper thin, and I'm not sure I would have survived such a blow.
Much better to buckle down to word slicing and, in the process, discover for myself that my writing needed a kick in the punctuation ... and dialogue ... and narration ... and probably a handful of other things I've yet to discover.
I hope to golly this book is taking me much longer than other books will. On the other hand, I started with a novel, which perhaps most writers would not do. They would practice with short stories, articles, poems, personal essays, and such. Then the kinks are properly worked through before a novel is attempted. Me? I am a kink factory, and I've been crankin' them out ever since I started this novel. But every rewrite is a renovation, and I know I'm better for it. Another bonus? Agents and editors don't ever have to know what kind of sludge I worked through to arrive at the final product.
Lord, please let there be a final product!
22,000 words cut! Only 18,000 to go!