About writing, Blog Post, T-minus

Pizza Power and The Massacre of The Machines

I am not embarrassed to admit that this week I seriously considered drowning my phone in the toilet. I nearly did, too. My computer crashed several times also, before it finally gave up the ghost, which made the window overlooking a precipice in the kitchen seem quite conveniently located.

After a painstakingly arduous process I calmed down, and I remembered my backups. Oh, those lifesaving backups, the stuff of dreams I tell you. Especially when you’re two months shy (one and a half actually) of finishing your three-year novel. So, first lesson of the week. Keep backups. Keep backups of your backups. Don’t leave anything to chance.

I finally got a new computer, and a new phone, talk about credit card debt. Unfortunately, the time I had to spend restoring all my files took me away from writing. Not completely, but enough to make me edgy. I rearranged an entire chapter, yeah, not much, but it’s something. Besides, it was a very thorough structural change. In fact, I learned something from it. Chapters have to build on each other. They have to be concise in relying specific information while at the same time allowing the story to move forward. They have to connect like a puzzle.

I am still focusing on discarding anything that isn’t essential to the overall arc of the story. There is no room for extra baggage in a well-written book. So I added an extra element to my editing, I’m calling it Pizza Power. Think about your favorite pizza. It has those yummy ingredients that melt and compliment each other to create the perfect flavor. Now picture your pizza missing some of those essential ingredients. Is it still good? Sure, but is it perfect? No. It’s missing stuff. The same can be said for having too many of the wrong ingredients. An overloaded pizza gets soggy and unappetizing because you can’t enjoy the distinct flavors.

Too many things going on in a story make the reader lose focus. A book with too many ideas is confusing and unappetizing to the mind.

To achieve this I’ve been asking myself the following questions:

  1. Is this part complementary, or is it overcrowding the story?
  2. Can this chapter retain its substance without certain information?

I was able to cut two hundred and seventeen words this week, which puts me at 112,450 words total. What a load of garbage I had polluting something that should’ve been simple and straight to the point. I’ll continue to work on this until the end of the year, and I will continue updating you on my progress. You guys feel free to do the same. You can email me personally, or comment in the section bellow. Hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving. Keep on rocking!

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