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10,000 WORDS GONE!

Mindy's head shot
I celebrated every 10,000 word milestone while I wrote my NaNo MG...should I celebrate losing 10,000 words now? I always knew it was too long, but it felt great to let my ideas run free. A year ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to cut such a huge chunk so easily, but now I'm just slicing and dicing. I even nixed some funny scenes after realizing they didn't need to be in this manuscript.

I've seen such a huge jump in my writing and revising abilities since I was invited to join Joyce Sweeney's weekly workshop/critique group in June. When I went to Rutgers in 2005, my mentor had suggested that I get into a group with published authors, but at the time, I had no idea how to do it. I do learn a lot from all my groups--they're amazing! But there definitely are things that published writers/mentors know from experience that can truly help bring a manuscript to the next level.

I am so grateful to every single person who has critiqued my manuscripts and have helped make my writing shine brighter than ever. Thank you all so much!
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Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
mindiscott
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Yay! It's cool to hear how much you're learning, and the progress you're making.

I think my current ms will benefit from trimming the word count by 5K to 10K. I hope I'll be able to do it as well as you!
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, Mindi.

Good luck with your revision!
tracyworld
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Slice and dice, baby! You're inspiring me, Mindy, because I've got to cut about that much, too. May your brave spirit guide me as I revise........ :)
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
You can do it, Tracy! I always keep a file of orphaned passages (usually just the longer ones). Once or twice, I've dug something back out of there, but just knowing my words are going into another file instead of disappearing forever makes it much easier to hit the delete key!
kbaccellia
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
Joyce Sweeney is awesome! I can't thank you enough for introducing me to her. She really is a fairy godmother, sprinkling Wow factor on a manuscript!
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
I'm glad she's been such a great help to you, too! I have a feeling Joyce's name will pop up in many acknowledgment pages in the next few years. :)
tamra_wight
Feb. 22nd, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! You have to celebrate!

Congratulations on the revisions . . .
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:36 am (UTC)
Thanks, Tamra. :)
robinellen
Feb. 22nd, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Very cool -- one of my online groups has two published authors, though both are still pretty new at it all.

I definitely have a lot to learn still :)
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
The more I learn, the more I realize how much more I still need to learn. I wonder if that ever changes.

I think we all grow as critiquers each time we have a manuscript professionally critiqued, attend conferences and classes, and go through the revision process with an editor or agent.

Yay for having two published authors in your group. I hope you're next. :)
saputnam
Feb. 23rd, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
Wow! 10,00 words! You sliced off a chapter book! Definitely celebrate!!

You're slicing and dicing whereas I'm trying to add words to my WIP Ned. I'm not sure which is harder.

I'm glad you are getting so much out of Joyce's critique group. I've seen your writing improve so much since you joined, and now it's only a matter of time before you hear that YES from a publisher!!!

Edited at 2008-02-23 02:38 pm (UTC)
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
LOL, you're right! One chapter book or ten - twenty picture books gone with those 10,000 words!

You can do it, Sharon. You've done a great job fleshing out Ned's story so far!

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm! I am really looking forward to the day when I hear that magical YES from an amazing agent and publisher!
sarah_create
Feb. 23rd, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)
Congrats on cutting 10K!
Revising and cutting are fun. :) Especially when they make the manuscript great.
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
Thanks, Sarah.

You're right--revising, and especially cutting used to scare me. Now, it is fun, knowing that every change I make helps strengthen my manuscript.
candycana
Feb. 23rd, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Joyce is incredible! I wish I lived closer! I'm expecting to hear great things from you!
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
I wish you lived closer, too! And I can't wait to celebrate when you have good news to share...hopefully soon!
ardentreader
Feb. 23rd, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
That is so awesomely incredible....I can't stand taking things out...I'm still needing to learn more....Congrats!
mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
When I'm writing a novel, I love keeping track of my word count progress. I guess I turn it into a game when I know I need to streamline, seeing how much I can delete. That way, I celebrate the word count going down, instead of cringing over lost words.

Good luck with your revision!
onegrapeshy
Feb. 24th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
Yay for the slicing and dicing! 10k? You go, girl! :)

mindyalyse
Feb. 24th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, Jen. :)

Welcome to the blueboards! I saw your first post on there today. It's such a great community. Plus, you'll see many familiar LJ buddies.
onegrapeshy
Feb. 24th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah except I can't figure out how to navigate it!!
mindyalyse
Feb. 26th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I usually check out the unread posts instead of looking at individual boards.

Once you post a few times, you'll be a pro! If you need help figuring out how to do anything on there, let me know. :)
onegrapeshy
Feb. 26th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mindy. :)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

Mindy's head shot
mindyalyse
Mindy Alyse Weiss
I write humorous middle-grade novels with heart and quirky picture books.

I'm an Administrator on the SCBWI Blueboard, the FL SCBWI Newsletter Editor and Critique Group Coordinator, and a proud member of From The Mixed Up Files...of Middle-Grade Authors

I've been married for twenty years and have two beautiful daughters, an adventurous Bullmasador adopted from The Humane Society, and an adorable Beagle/Pointer mix pup who was rescued from the Everglades.

I've been published in Highlights three times and placed in the 80th Writer's Digest Competition.

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