Time to Revise

I set out to write a short story. I worked through the draft and it took longer than I anticipated mainly due to the research involved. The next step is editing. I am not a fan of editing. I recognise the importance of the process, the refinement, removal and alteration achieved through editing is fundamental in turning a merely ok story into a good one. I just find the process agonising. I’m sure I’m not alone.

My story has been drafted and now I need to take the next steps. A couple of people have read it and offered comments, which were greatly appreciated. They pointed out things I should have considered earlier. I need to check the science again, the timing of actions and events. I also need to make a choice.

The story sits at around 9000 words. It’s in novelette territory. Too long for a short story and not long enough for a novella or novel. I could cut it back by a couple of thousand words, but by the same token, there are aspects to the setting, characters and plot that could be followed. It could push into novella or novel territory if I think it feels appropriate to do so. It could be a serial. I think it potentially has the set-up to be any of those longer forms, and ideas are percolating. But… I set out to write a short story. Maybe I should cut it back, pare away those aspects that speak of larger actions and setting related machinations to focus on the core story. I haven’t decided yet. I’m waiting on some more feedback, I’m also going to finish a first edit, then leave the story for a week or two, get some freelance work I have on the docket completed, and come back to it with fresh eyes.

Photo 21-2-18, 8 58 56 pm

As for the first edit… This has been reading through for consistency. I also made a list of words from various online articles and blog posts that I should look at removing from the story. In MS Word I used the ‘find’ and ‘replace’ functions, replacing the words with highlighted versions of themselves so I can run back over and find them more easily. Then spot, hopefully, whether those words serve a function, whether they need to be rewritten or whether they can be cut.

Two useful sites I found some solid advice for words to avoid are TheWritePractice, and the website of Diana Urban. Both are well worth checking out!



3 Replies to “Time to Revise”

    1. I’m in a bind at the moment. I’m running through edits on the story. After that I am tossing up whether I need to cut it back to short story length and send it out in the hope of having it published, seeking a publisher at the current length (novelette), or broaden it into a longer story, which may well end up either a novella or novel (if either a novella or novel, I think it would be novel length).

      I have ideas that would push it into longer territory, since some of the driving forces in it haven’t been expanded on, but I am in the process of deciding…

      If it is to be expanded, I may well post the current story as is here as I develop the rest. If I keep it shorter, I will likely try to find a home for it in a publication of some sort…

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