Posts in Privateer
Farewell to Figment

I know I haven't been using this space very much recently, but I convinced myself that this was important enough to document online. Excuse me while I have a Very Important Emotion—

At the end of next month, Figment.com is shutting down.

It's okay if that means nothing to you, but I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that to a group of my friends and I, about seven years ago, it meant everything. 

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Letters to my dead novels

dear dead novel #1,

You were the one.

The one that made me realize I could do it. Really do it. Write a book. A whole book.

You were a few hundred handwritten pages of pure, magical dream-fever. Sure, you were about talking horses running wild in Wyoming. Sure, half of you now lies smudged, faded, and illegible in a drawer because I was too naive to write with a pen and not a pencil. But Novel, I remember the long summer nights we spent together.

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When the plot twist becomes the new plan

*the title of this post is not a metaphor for anything. i'm literally going to talk about plot twists.

During the past few months, something drastic happened in my revision process.

I said yes to adding a brand new plot twist. In my fourth draft.

Before I even started this draft, I knew I was going to have to do something different. My first two attempts at revision ended in what I considered to be a pretty sickening failure. In my third draft stage, I was hoping to end up somehow cutting at least 10,000 words. By the time I got about halfway through, I figured 10,000 was an overly ambitious goal, so I settled for 5,000.

I cut 1,572 words.

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4 things you notice when writing a 4th draft

1. there's a lot less to work with.

I mean, obviously. I've cut approximately 15,000 words from Privateer over the course of three drafts and it's still way over a normal YA novel wordcount. My goal has been to put the integrity of the story before wordcount, and cut without compromising that... but now that I'm on the fourth draft, honestly, I've gotten a little bit desensitized. I look back on my second draft self and want to pat her on the head. Poor widdle Second Draft Self, so traumatized by shifting one paragraph down the page...

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How to rewrite without becoming a shriveled shell of yourself

Here's the answer: you can't.

On a good day, I'll write about 800-1000 words in an hour. On a REALLY good day, I'll actually decide to use those words. I don't know if anyone's told you this before, but when you're revising your novel and you know you have to cut out 35,000 words (that equates to approximately 38.8 hours of my life/at least a month of writing, down the drain) before it's even close to readable, it hurts more than just your brain and your social calendar.

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