Monday, December 6, 2010


I am not a fan of slasher movies. Give me a suspense or a thriller, but please don't waste my time with a magical being/crazy/psycho who is slashing people just to see blood.

However, last night I felt like I was the antagonist of one of those horrors I despise. The protaganist was my beloved WIP Reunited Undercover. She barely survived.

Had you going for a second there, didn't I?

I recieved great feedback from the Mills & Boon New Voices Competition regarding my first chapter of Reunited Undercover, but there were a few issues the commenters agreed on. It took too long to get to the point in the beginning and the end of the chapter didn't end on a hook. Then a very lovely pubbed author sent me an email also agreeing with those comments and adding a few more. My secondary characters are cliche. Oh the horror!!! But wait, I thought I was being clever in my beginning. I thought having my cliche secondary character end the chapter added a little humor.

So, last night I sat with my printed pages, took out my pink (yes, pink, not red) pen and began slashing. Like all serial killers, once I got a taste for the kill I couldn't stop. I hacked almost 2k out of my WIP. Bye-bye clever beginning that took too long to get to the point. Bye-bye cliche waitress. Bye-bye backstory I didn't realize was abundant in that first chapter. And so I moved on to the next chapter and the next after that.

This morning I'm feeling only a twinge of regret, but realizing my WIP will be a better book (I hope)should get me through the next round of slashing. And hopefully, by January I'll be ready for Savvy Authors EditPalooza and then my beloved's scars will be healed and I'll be ready to send her on her way.

So, what about you guys? Do you find it easy to slash words from your WIP when you are trying so hard to make a specific word count?


  1. ha ha u got your slasher badge. I am not that much of a slasher, maybe I will get there soon. Are you sending your partial to the so you think you can write thingie?
    When I was pregnant i craved one particular movie - Sweeney Todd I watched it so many times

  2. I love that WIP, Mel, but I bet I'll love it even more now. Great job! I can't wait to see.
    I am a slasher, but I do in a way to trick myself because the horror of leaving 5k (or more *gasp*)on the floor it too much to bear. What I do is slash a section, then add in or rewrite that section before moving on to the next. All told, it's a blood bath, but to my mind, I'm only trimming off 500 words here, 500 there before adding some back in.

  3. It isn't the word count that bothers me. I'm a plotter, first and foremost, which means everything is contingent on something else. If I hack one thing, I have to change ten more. I've had to re-write half a book before. I mean, if it has to be done, it has to be done, but sometimes I get nauseated just thinking about it.

  4. Hi, I'm just soaking up the information from the post and the comments! Thank you all!

  5. Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

    Joanna - I'm not sending anything in for the SYTYCW. Good luck with yours!

    Christine - I had the urge to write to fill in, but I want to take out everything that needs to go and then go back in and connect the dots.

    Elizabeth - it was nauseating at first, but then became a little like a game. How much can I hack without hurting anyone.

    Hi Nas!!

  6. It will be so much better for that in the end. I'm a slasher too and even more now with revisions I'm working on. First half of the book stayed the same, but after ch 8, there is a blood bath going on.

  7. Great post, Melinda! I wasn't a slasher until I received some editor feedback on my vampire story. Things they'd pointed out were SO obvious after the fact, I ended up chopping 6K out of that story. And I didn't feel bad it at all. Feels good to get a little rampant with, eh. :-)

  8. Hi Ella and Ally - that's what is really scary - I actually ended up enjoying the blood bath.

    What does that say about me?

  9. Well,'ve just taken my megabitch cp award and thrown it out with yesterdays trash. Good? Bad? You decide. Lol I didn't catch these things. I'm sorry for that. But I can't wait to see the new and improved version! I love this story and know it will make it to published one day.

    In the meantime, I'm learning a little slicing and dicing myself. Keep up the good work!

  10. At first, I was in a near panic when I began slicing mine apart. I'm talking borderline hyperventilating. But, once I started, I found it came so easy to slash all the unneeded things.