It was a late night for me last night. Couldn’t sleep, ever after my journey to The Undisclosed Location left me somewhat tired and ready for the sack. Ah, these things happen sometimes. But you learn to live with them–and since I’ve had bouts of insomnia for about 50 years, it sometimes becomes second nature to be able to get through a day with only a few hours of sleep.
Last night I did get back into Couples Dance and went through Chapter 2. It went well, save for one paragraph that I must have spent twenty minutes getting right. It frustrated the hell out of me, trying to find the right combination of words that would change it from okay to, “Yes, this is what it should say”. In the past I might have let that go; now, suddenly, I’m looking at how to not just clean up and fix, but improve. And that’s even a better sign that I’m getting my editing chops down just a touch more.
I’m finding it necessary to add a few words here and there, mostly in an effort to clean up the narrative and make things a touch clearer. One of the things I’m looking at is whether or not it’ll be possible to take this very long novella and turn it into a very short novel. One might say, “Oh, yeah, you can do that,” because I’m right about 36,300 words at the moment, and finding another four thousand or so words to kick it above forty thousand should be child’s play, right?
Perhaps. I’m of the mind, however, that if I want to make this interesting as a novel, I’d need to kick it to at least fifty thousand words, and that’s going to involve adding about fourteen thousand words, and that’s a bit of a challenge. Or to put it in something that’s easier to visualize: if I have chapters of five thousand words, I’ll need to add five. Or add four and find a way to slip in another four thousand words to the chapters already there.
Yes, there is reward. There is also the possibility that I’ll take a story that, I feel, is pretty tightly paced, and ruin it. I’m sure there are those who would tell me that if it were a novel, I’d have a better chance of marketing it, but there is also the possibility of turning it into something boring, and not making any sales, period.
I’ll figure it out, because . . . well, that’s what I do. Or, at least, that’s what I’m learning to do.
And wouldn’t you know it: during the drive down–which can only be described as, “I do wish I had twin Death Lasers mounted on the hood of my car”–I had the idea for another story begin germinating. It’s not anywhere near where I need it to be, just yet–not like another idea I started getting at work last week, and I’ve already mapped out in my head to be one, maybe two longer stories–but it’s getting there. It’s something I need to work out with the Muse, because, call me crazy, I think this is one story she’s going to like.
But then, when doesn’t she like my stories?