*tap tap tap* Is this thing still on?
Well, actually, I know it's ON, it's really been me that's been OFF. well, not off, exactly...just, indisposed. Otherwise occupied.
You see, after my last post on my book, I received word from my agent that all the changes and additions that I made were all really good and all that, but was it *really* tight? And then, she asked me to cut out about 65 pages of my little Late Night Show.
Well, after I picked myself up off the floor, I did two things.
First, I took a good hard look at the fact that I had two major challenges coming my way in the next month: the first being, focusing on making the cuts, and the second being preparing for directing 42nd Street. I had honestly put off thinking about the play for weeks in the hope that my rewrites would be done by January and I could really focus on what I wanted to do with the show.
What I realized is that it just wasn't possible to do both, and do both well. And so, as much as I loved the group I direct for, I politely ask to be let out of my obligation. Fortunately, they had a director waiting in the wings, which I knew, and encouraged. Knowing that made my decision easier.
The second thing I did was to focus on cutting the manuscript down. So, for the past month, I've been focusing on that, completely, taking some vacation days out of work, working at night, during the week-end. Whenever I had a free moment.
To start, I broke the entire manuscript down, chapter by chapter. I put together a list of each chapter, itemizing page count, whether there was any white space, and what took place. Then, I focused on the easy opportunities first--those chapters where it'd be easy to cut a page. Then I identified those chapters that ran longer than the others, and took a look at whether I could cut anything from them. I consolidated two chapters, cut out what could be perceived as fluff, rearranged quite a few chapters to say things, faster, and looked at areas where there could be perceived redundancies.
Above all, I kept track of my progress. I felt like a person on a diet (which I probably should be). I listed the date and target page count, and listed each page that I lost. By the first week I had taken it down by 20 pages, by the next week, another twenty. And by this past Sunday, I was at 305.
That's when I finally--and not before that--looked at margins. I discovered that one margin was a little over 1 inch. By moving that margin to one inch exactly, I brought the manuscript to 304. But what that also did was produce additional opportunities at the end of chapters...from there, I was able to get to 299.
Next stop is to read it again, and I also have to rework the epilogue a bit. Also, I need to have my next set of readers move into action. I tell you, this is a lot of work!
Bottom line: I'm now able to get back to the business of telling more stories. Expect a few, coming soon to a journal near you...