Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun with Revision

Let it be known, I am not a great reviser of my own work. More accurately, while I am happy to really muck around with the text while I am drafting, once I think it's done, I have a great deal of trouble opening it back up and making significant changes. I tend to simply add things that are suggested, without changing much of the existing text--this sometimes results in ideas coming a bit out of order, things expressed redundantly, or the persistence of ideas that seem naive or obsolete even in light of other ideas expressed in the text.

It also usually means the word count goes up.

Since the contract specified that the word count could be no higher than 100k words, and the draft was already at 101K, this revision process has been a significant challenge. I plucked a couple thousand off with some of my revisions to the intro, but the final chapter's worth of revisions found me back in my old habits of adding without cutting. I'm going to try to go back over it one more time with an eye specifically to trimming, but I wanted to check my word count just to see where I was for the complete ms. with this last bit of chapter revisions.

The total count: 99,918 words.


Tom said...

As I told someone else recently, Horace, the 'word-count' provision of the contract will probably only be used against you if the press is looking for a good reason to drop your book. At least if you are in the right ballpark. 101, 102, even 105 is probably fine: what press flunky is actually going to count up the words in the various files?

Horace said...

That's good to know, Tom, because I just realized that switching to Chicago style notes is going to add more than 82 words to the total count.

Earnest English said...

Yay! A book! In the latter stages of revision! As difficult as it may be to do these revisions, it's your book! Awesome! I'm proud of you, as silly as that may be!