She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it). ~ Lewis Carroll
Have you ever watched a director's cut version of a movie? They usually contain scenes that were cut from the original movie. I recently watched the director's cut of the 1985 movie, Legend, starring Tom Cruise, a long time favorite of mine. I was really looking forward to seeing an additional 20 minutes of footage I've never seen before.
I hated it! Twenty extra minutes turned what was once a dramatic tale into a corny, sappy disaster. (This isn't true for all director's cuts... leave a comment telling me which director's cuts you loved!)
One would think that a few extra scenes would enhance a movie (or a book) - but not necessarily! If they don't advance the plot or the characters' dilemmas, they could end up detracting instead of enhancing.
I've reached the 75,000 word mark for novel #3. According to my outline, it was supposed to be finished right around 75k, all the plot threads tied together nice and neat. But I'm just barely to the "darkest moment" part of the novel, with the "saving moment" and all the conclusion still ahead of me. The final word count for the first draft of this YA historical fantasy, at this rate, is probably going to push 85-90k (too high for a YA novel*).
Wordiness! My bane! - I'm going to have to kill some of my darlings (e.g. scenes or partial scenes that I love, but don't contribute enough to plot advancement or character development). My comfort when it comes to cutting will be remembering that the edited version of Legend was so much more dramatic and powerful than its uncut version.
Have you seen a director's cut that you'd recommend? Also - speaking of movies, it reminded me that the Academy Awards were yesterday. What 2010 movie would you have voted to get Best Picture (even if it wasn't a nominee?) (I was torn between the King's Speech, Toy Story 3, and Inception!)
* Several commenters have pointed out that 85k or even 100k isn't unreasonable for the world-building required for a historical fantasy. Great news! (But I'm still betting that my critique partners will spot lots of wordiness, and perhaps a few extraneous scenes, that need cutting.)
p.s. Many thanks to everyone who contributed encouraging and prodding comments to help me get to my March 1st word count goal. I wouldn't have made it so far without the on-line support. Winners are Laura Pauling and Candice Kennigton, both of which returned to comment again on my word count progress (thank you for the encouragement!) and earned extra entries (random.org picked the winning numbers). They each win a $15 certificate to Amazon. Victoria Dixon earned extra points for being my pick for most creative comment "Impressive. *Darth Vader breath* Most impressive. Seriously. :D Congratulations on the word count and keep it coming!" (I wish she could have won, too!)
p.p.s Also, many thanks to Alison Stevens who gave me the Versatile Blogger award recently, and Shelley Blatt who gave me the Stylish Blogger award. I'll be passing on these awards to some bloggers I've met recently via Rachael Harrie's wonderful Crusaders project (list to come tomorrow).
5 Reasons to Give Up on Your Novel (And One Reason Not to) - *By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy * *When it is time to call it quits with your manuscript?* Not every novel is going to work, no matter how much we might l...
3 hours ago