Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Open House and the Delete Key

Today is Harlequin's annual Holiday Open House! Tons and tons of authors and prizes and general silliness- it's great! You can see the Open House Home Page for links to each of the post parties/chats, and click on this link to visit the Harlequin Romance Authors specifically.

In other news, I am not sure if I feel better or worse for the exercise my delete key got yesterday. I deleted approx. 7000 words from my single title and then a further 2300 from the first chapter of my WIP - which now has to be retitled (Not the Cowgirl's Convenient Groom anymore) and the word count meter reset as I've had to start again. That makes...right around 30 000 words that got the axe in the last week.

If that doesn't make me want to break out the Baileys, I don't know what will. I do think this went beyond killing my darlings.

Now - go enjoy the party while I brandish my sword and head back into the fray.


  1. Hi Donna.

    I feel your pain with all those deletions, but I have a question for you: why not copy and paste those deletions into a new file(s) in case you can use them in either a new book (revamped, of course) or later in the same book?

    Just wonderin'....

  2. Good question, Laney. And a long answer...sort of.

    With the single title, I realized I'd started in the wrong place. I have actually started this book about 6 times in various places, looking for one that worked. THis time I was close, but honestly the first chapter points I needed to make can be filtered into chapter 1 etc. now, and by starting with Chapter 2 I'm better able to open with the strong image I want to convey. That was about 5 of the 7k. The other 2k was a major plot element that is being removed on the advice of my agent.

    With the current Romance wip, there is also a major plot element that gets the boot. Since several scenes centred around that element, there really isn't a way to revise and make them work. The book is taking a whole different approach. That's the 21k - or just about. I wrote a new chapter 1, took a scene from the 21k I had first written and revised it, and that scene STILL has to go.

    Sometimes saving scenes work. I do find that they rarely work for a different book though, as I'm dealing with different characters.

    Does that make sense?


  3. That makes total sense. Thank you for the explanation, Donna.

    I write poems for friends/family. They too are personalized, so it is rare that I can use lines from one poem in another poem (although the beginnings and endings are often generic).

    That reminds me. I'm going to send you an email right now....

  4. I am sooo feeling your pain this week Donna. I am way over word count and looking for ways to cut them down to size. Some of the scenes I can shave a good portion off and it still works. Others, not so easy. But I know yours will be a much better book in the end so I'm not worried about your slicing knife.

    Have I mentioned I'm reading and loving Montana, Mistletoe, Marriage? It's my 'reward' book this week! I absolutely adore Mack and Kelly.

  5. Calisa, thank you for saying that! MMM was one of those stories that was written - and rewritten - and rewritten again. So it is doubly gratifying to hear when readers enjoy it. :-)

    And helps because I know I've had to rewrite before and pulled it off. LOL.

  6. 30K ouch! You're a brave woman Donna!