At this rate, I may be able to edit more than 5 chapters in August, but I am not going to kill myself to make that happen. I would rather spend more time with each chapter--although not too much time with each chapter. I have learned that there is absolutely such a thing as too much editing. There seems to be a critical threshold which, once I pass it, I start looking at the words and they no longer make sense and then I think that everything I have done so far has been a colossal waste of time.
I am my own worst hater.
So far I have managed to delete a little over 1400 words from my manuscript, so I am hoping I won't have too much of a problem meeting my goal of 5000 words deleted from the book as a whole.
It makes me happier than it probably should to delete stuff from the manuscript. It's really not difficult to find things to delete, either. It seems I am a big fan of adverbs, especially those tacked onto speaker attributions. I used them to excess in the first draft and most of them so far have gone right into the trash because they read really badly. I am also a fan of stating the same thing twice or three times in different words-- basically I am the literary equivalent of Mojo Jojo-- which is to say that I like to rephrase my main idea several times to get my point across-- and, again, it reads really badly. Delete key happens as a result.
So far I have sent the first chapter out to four test readers. Oh man, it's nerve wracking!! I want to think that I will be able to take it when, inevitably, one of them gets back to me and tells me they think the chapter is crap, but only time will tell whether or not this is the case. If you want to be a test reader, it is totally not too late! You can always email me at skbeaman (at) gmail (dot) com for info.
In other news, I have started reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. HOLY DAMN. It is extremely weird so far-- and extremely entertaining. Maybe I will try to put my thoughts about it together in some coherent fashion later, but for now I am just going to enjoy its spastic, unintentionally hilarious charms.