Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery
dr_pretentious

Pruning

So far, all the beta comments that have come back about the novella propose minor changes, one-sentence or two-sentence fixes. Very strange. If this trend continues for another week, I may just cut the 2500 words that need cutting, clarify the dozen small things that need clarifying, and ship it out before the month's half gone.

I spent the afternoon looking at submissions guidelines for genre magazines that publish novellas. Once "Atlantis Cranks Need Not Apply" gets down to 25K, there are places it can go. I have notions now about where to send it first. I've spent the evening marking the ms for cuts, and I think I've found all the cuts I need without touching anything I really want to keep. Jane's parents, who never appear on stage, have no lines, and are mentioned in exactly four sentences, are going. A bunch of dialogue tags are going. I've discovered two new tics I didn't know I had. While the tics might arguably add flavor in a couple of places, nobody needs nearly that many moments in which the characters eye things suspiciously, and nobody needs there to be dozens of occurrences of the words "pretty much."

If I'm deluded in my hope that the revisions for this piece will be minor, do please let me know. I'd far rather hear about the gaping plot hole, the massive structural flaw, the implausible character, etc., from you than from the editors of any of the magazines I targeted today.

Email, lj comments, phone, whatever. And thanks to everyone who offered.
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