Five things I've learned to write the revisionists – Chuck Wendig: Terribleminds Writing

Not everything is good for Father Julius. , ,

Julius, a street preacher in denim robes and running shoes, is a source of inspiration for a community that knows nothing of its scandalous origins.

But when a nearby mental hospital releases her patients to run amok in his neighborhood, his trusted, though ragged herd turns expectantly to Julius to find out what's going on. In the midst of falling chaos, Julius encounters a hospital refugee babbling about prophecies of doom, and the growing, perceptible sense of imminent danger intensifies. , , as well as the feeling that everyone relies a little too much on a street preacher.

Nevertheless, Julius decides to face the forces that threaten his community – including the peculiar followers of a religious cult, the mysterious men and women in fierce red clothes in the midst of chaos, and an enigmatic smoker figure who seems to know what's going on before it happens.

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My debut novel, The revisers, will be released on 3 December.

A little secret now: It should not be published – in my opinion. Before I started, I told myself that the book would not be published.

I showed it to me!

Leave me behind I wanted to it is published; I just knew it would not His. By that, I mean, I made a rough plot outline at the end of 2011, before I started writing, and re-calculated a bit on the basis of the already completed pages to reach an estimated page number of around 400,000 words. Faced with a creeping suspicion, I did a bit of online research, instantly verifying my instincts. I was totally confused.

For those of you who do not, the general wisdom is that a debut author, depending on the genre, should write manuscripts of about 80,000 to 110,000 words, which will make up the scope of my project, if you allow me to use a little of that industry jargon, "absolutely crazy". But I had the story I wanted to write, and I wanted to write everything, so I shrugged and decided to tip myself to the windmill to reassure myself that she would not be released until in my birthday in 2020 I published even a few vanities to put me on my shelf, and then wrote a shorter second novel. That's how I isolated myself against self-hatred; I would be an idiot, but not an idiot.

(Listen to me: If you remember to write a book that contradicts all the industry's advice and expectations, be very ready for it extremely unpublished. That way, if you are very, very lucky – and I have a lot very Lucky – it can be a nice surprise, and if you do not, it will not be evil. Every other path is regretful.)

To avoid boredom, I spool four years after the completion of the manuscript – that was not 400,000 words, but 330,000! Only my goodness three longer than a reasonable human could have done! After spending a year shopping, I found myself right where someone expected a first doorstop: writing a new, shorter manuscript. But then something amazing happened. A publisher – that would be the adorable Dennis Johnson of Melville House – asked to take a look and read it and decided he liked it enough to publish it.

"Only one thing," said Dennis. "I think at this length, many people will only notice the length. We want you to save about a third of it. Do you think you could do that? "

"Yes, absolutely!" I answered. Please note, I had absolutely no idea How could I do that, but I knew the answer to that question. Like I said, I'm an idiot, but not an idiot.

I've told you all this because I want to share a few things that you learn about yourself and the craft of writing and editing as you cut out a whole-sized book from your huge book.

It will hurt.

My friends, it will work injured. You need to cut out characters so you can cut out entire storylines and entire chapters. You'll spend six months tidying up your book to make those decisions, and then another six months to do the cleanup. They will rewrite the entire beginning and then pick up a call on Christmas day a few weeks before the deadline, as this is not yet the case, although it is better Welland then you go back and read it and find that this report is correct, and you'll drop in front of your screen on Boxing Day and you'll want to die, but instead of dying, you'll start to rewrite your beginning , Because that's the process.

To be understood is not the mission.

Listen: Your publisher will probably like your book and your writing – why else should he publish your book? – but it is not your publisher's job to like your book. It is up to your editor to tell you what is not working. They have made a choice, and the election has led to a book that is not as good as it could be. This is difficult because you made these decisions for a reason. You would like to explain these reasons.

(Although your publisher is likely to understand your book), it becomes clear to you that it is not your publisher's job to understand your book the way you understand it. Rather, it is the job of your publisher to understand everything about your book you do not understandand to explain them so that you understand why. (Honestly, editors are something of a magician.) Often, these explanations make sense, but sometimes they're horrible – because they did not understand your book the way you understand it, and for a very simple reason. She already to have Someone who understands the book that way. They have she, Dummy.

It is your job to find out what is meant by these proposals, and then to fix the problem in a very big way she in kind. Because that's the process.

Think of it as a game if you can.

Can you cut this character to preserve the reason for the character's existence, and introduce even more fun and ambiguous mind-chewing? Do that! Can you capture your publisher's objections in such a way that you can still consider the reason why you made the choice? Do that! Can you honor the spirit of the request and not the letter of the request and find a solution that you really like? More what did you TU have that! Watch as the number of words blends and blends into 210,000 (but still baffled). You win! You'll probably believe that you can handle your editor for a while, until you realize that you're fixing your book, which was the whole idea because …

Everyone wants the book to succeed.

Obviously right? If you notice the care with which the publishing team replicates your various story threads into different fonts, it could really begin to sink to convey the shifts or the beautiful art deco poster designs inside or the crafting of the layout itself Dust jacket that really bursts, the embossment on the back, everything. My friends, I am here to tell you smells

Everyone is working on making a great book. Everyone believes that it will be one.

If your book loses 100,000 words and can still work, it probably lost it.

Jump Josaphat, what a (funny) work. This is exactly the length that is needed now, and I think people will love it, and I can not wait for people to let me know if I'm right. Maybe next time I'll take a break with the voice of the audiobook reader and write shortly.

(If I can.)

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A.R. Moxon: Twitter | website

The revisers: To press | eBook

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