If I have to restart my computer (because it got gummed-up again), when I go to restart work on my novel it takes a short check-list.
Normally I leave everything open so I can just sit down I work without digging for my place again
- I open Excel with all my scenes, so I can keep track of where I am, then
- Three Word documents:
- The actual story: Let Evening Come,
- my “progress report” document where I make notes about how word-counts, chapter movement and where more background is needed (it’s my way of preventing my “inner editor” from interrupting the putting down of words. I remind myself I’ll work back through during my final edits, so get the silly thing finished first).
- my “cut bits” document
- At least one writer I know says she just cuts and throws away everything she’s not going to use, but I don’t trust myself enough to do that. (Or maybe it means I think too highly of my work?)
Anyway, I opened the “cut bits” doc last tonight and yanked the scroll-bar to the bottom like I always do (ready to drop the latest cuts from this read-through). Then I looked at the page-count and nearly spit out my milk: 104 pages.
Of cut stuff.
And that doesn’t even count the cut-stuff from the first couple revisions.
So I’m feeling a bit less-guilty now about the length. At least I’m making a good-faith effort, right?