Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for X-Key: Editing, the Backspace Key, and Me

It's X day today, a day I've been dreading since signing up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

I had absolutely no idea what this post would be about, and then it hit me! I've been staring at this little beauty for the better part of the past month:
(This is a photo of my actual keyboard, and yes, that is a coffee stain... and dust.)
X! Ha! The backspace key was my best friend during my recent round of edits. Today, I'm providing a quick glimpse into my editing process. I realize this is the authorly equivalent of blogging about my weight, but I'm going there anyway, because... A to Z Challenge.

I began with a 74,000 word manuscript. Characterization edits, additional descriptions, and a modified beginning brought my manuscript to over 77,000 words. Then, it was time to put the backspace key to work.

This statistic makes me want to cry, but it's fascinating: By cutting out unnecessary adverbs and superfluous words such as justthat, and now, I brought my manuscript down to 75,704 words. That's about 1,500 words, and not one of those words was cut out as part of a mass removal of content. I simply went through the manuscript and plucked them out, one by one. All 1,500 of them.


Much love to my amazing editor for seeing the beauty past the mess! Three more rounds of edits to go, and I'm sure I'll be spending more quality time with my friend the x-key.

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