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?

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