My writer-friend in arms, Jessica Therrien, took an assassin’s knife to my manuscript this week. I couldn’t be happier. She did what I couldn’t do. She went through and cut a good twenty thousand words out of my story. Not because she didn’t like them, but because they were slowing my book down, getting in the way of moving my story forward. Could Have Been Holly Wood is leaner, clearer, and straight to the point.
There are a lot of reasons a writer needs intuitive, honest friends to review her work. Cutting is probably one of the best reasons. We writers get so attached to our stories, it becomes close to impossible to slay them ourselves. Sometime we need to hand our beloved chapters over to a trusted friend and ask them to do the killing.
I’m going through my manuscript now and smoothing out the rough edges. In a few more weeks, perhaps a month or two, I plan to resubmit to the original publisher who loves my writing but wanted me to get rid of all the backstory bogging down the beginning. Mission accomplished. I hope she loves it this go around. If not, it’s still a kick butt story, all the better for the publisher’s advice and Jessica’s knife wielding. A Barnes and Noble shelf is sitting cold and empty, waiting for Could Have Been Holly Wood to take its spot. I can feel it.