Words at start: 19,395
Words slain: 909
Total words: 18,486
Ah, this is better. I like my stories trim and pretty, not lame and bloated. No puppies from this batch to share, I cut those words out one at a time. 4,101 to go.
Oh, and then there’s this:
I wrote too much. I already have a problem with over-writing! NaNo just encouraged it. TD 204 draft 2 has 19,395 words. No matter what criterion I use, I have a lot of work to do to whip this baby into readable shape:
Longest episode length: 15,726 (eliminate 3669 words)
Average episode length: 12,450 (eliminate 6945 words)
Average season 2 episode length: 13,361 (eliminate 6034 words)
I think if I can cut 5000 words, that will be doing good.
Tomorrow, I begin the Un-NaNo. How many words can I cut? Stay tooned!
I edit as I go. And you know, it was a skill I had to learn. I used to be afraid to edit. “I want to change that… but what if I decide later I like this old material better and it’s *gone*!” Well, sometimes editing’s necessary just to move on *at all*, so I learned ways to deal. Like backing up every day so I have old versions available if I need them. One other thing I do is create a “puppy pound.” My old writing coach had this saying from one of her editors: “This story’s great, except for one thing. You need to kill the dog.”
The “dog” is some part of the story you’re emotionally attached to that you refuse to get rid of even though it’s not contributing to any plot point. For me, the “dog” is often a cool squib of dialogue or description that could have been part of the story, but then didn’t fit once I had most of the story written. Sometimes, I’ll bend the story into pretzels to keep the dog there. But I’ve learned to get rid of my dogs by taking them and putting them into a separate file. The dogs go there, and all the other story snippets that could-have-been but proved extraneous to or wrong for the story go in the puppy pound.
I’m so used to having my puppy pound now, I forget it’s there unless I’m dumping verbage into it. But I have two puppy pounds going, one for TD 204 and one for TD 205/206. These are bits of text I wrote for the episodes in November that I just clipped out and stuffed away. I didn’t consider them as part of my “word count” because they’re not part of the “official draft”. But by NaNo rules (which I flout with impunity), they count in my total word count.
How spoiled rotten am I that I’m pouting over the fact that, as of this month, the ATPo home page is finally averaging less than 100 hits a day? People drift away, that’s a fact of life. But I think the “drift quotient” is a function of how much you invested in a fandom to begin with (directly correlated with your passion for said fandom), and I invested a LOT in BtVS/Angel. It’s my only “true” fandom, technically speaking, because I never spent much time actively talking to people about other shows I’ve watched/liked.
I should really get over it (the pouting). After all, the returns on my investment were awesome. I still have my core ATPo friends, and they are interesting and wonderful enough to be entertaining in and of themselves. I still have my DVDs, should I choose to pull them down from the shelf. I still have AtS Season 6 (which we need to finish!!), The Destroyer, and the readers thereof. Having people read my work, whether it’s fiction or philosophical analysis, is Gold, people, Gold.
It’s just…that was my 15 minutes of fame, seeing my website on television, getting fan mail. Hard to adjust, especially if you’re like me, and you don’t shift loyalties/fall in love easily.
ETA: It’s official. I’m just a spoiled wanker. The minute after I made my pouting public, I got this in my inbox todays fan mail
Seen on the side of a truck this morning:
“Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”
– Fernando Pessoa, Portuguese poet (1888-1935)
New words: 2312
Total words: 35,529
Well, I’m off to my friend Gloria’s for dinner and DVD, so that wraps it up for today’s writing.
New words: 2661
Total words: 9379