Time to take control, time to be boss ROW80


The sun is out, Alberta is a happy bunny and so far the New Year is behaving relatively well.

A writers life is slowly returning after far too long a break.

It’s nice.


I eased back in with blogging, commenting on social media and a rough draft of a couple new chapters.

This last week I decided to spring clean (again) this Tale which has meandered through heart failure, chronic depression and two years of spring cleaning the neglect of house and garden.

This Tale which started as

a story about ancestors,
becoming a hybrid of two generations,
falling to the axe and being
truncated into two Tales, becoming more recently
a Tale of the children and
a collection of short stories.

This Tale which

has been written over nearly four years.
Beginning life as a straight narration, changing into
1st person only narration
Into interviews from three different viewpoints

Needs me

To restore some order.
To take control
To be the boss!!!

This last week I collected together every bit of writing concerning The Children’s Tale (not the ancestors bit that had been put away a couple of years ago, with 24,439 words) just The Children’s Tale.

Systematically labelled them, discovering so many duplicates of chapters and incidents my head whirled!

I numbered them all.
I read them all
Made choices as to which to keep which to take away.

I reduced an unwieldy 228,184 words down to more satisfying 81,704

A reduction 146,480 words! I might even allow myself a WOW here and it is not a word I use normally:)

Then I trolled through these 81,704 words and 2nd drafted 9,691 words of them – the second draft for me is a basic spelling check and repeated words. I have changed these to blue print so that I can instantly see which is which. Also on this draft I have made notes of queries, missing stuff-  i.e. minor characters names.

I was on a roll last week. My mind felt like it had come out of a dusty cobwebby under the stair cupboard at last!

All this is in Scrivener so there is plenty of space for notes, corrections, changes etc.

In doing all this work I have in effect read the whole (more than once) and discovered pretty dire weaknesses, holes in plots and still some confusion of time lines.

Having been written over such a long period and in so many ways and so many states of health and fatigue, in between spells of illness, lethargy and depression has left it in urgent need of some unity. However, after the drastic  prune and tidy up I can see the outline again and feel  optimistic I can bring it to a conclusion.

I am wondering if a complete re-write of, if not all, a great deal of it would be better than trying to re-tweak it. The re-read has shown up many instances where trying to tweak it would take longer than just re-writing. So must make some decisions before I go much further.

On the blogging front I have managed

A rant about being muzzled in book groups and the star system of reviewing books.

Also  a couple of comments on punctuation, commas and apostrophes

Over on kissafrog catching up on my race with scrumbles

my website is discussing seeds and their importance.

I am thinking of starting  a learning something new every day meme. Maybe this next week.

Networking: have caught up with Triberr and Facebook begun again on Twitter and keeping my reading on Goodreads up to date, Behind on ROW80 so will do better, promise:)

6 thoughts on “Time to take control, time to be boss ROW80

  1. denizb33 says:

    Awesome on the word count chop! Just think of all the outtakes you can share later with fans :-)

  2. tmycann says:

    Your editing efforts deserve not only the wow, double-wow, but also an EPIC WOW. That you managed all that other stuff too…? I salute you! Those seeds sound like they’ve sprouted something magical in you. :)

    • alberta says:

      that first packet did indeed introduce me to a new form of magic – I had always been aware of them in a vague kind of way but actually watching them grow was a mind boggling moment for me:)

      Thanks for the EPIC WOW:)

  3. alberta says:

    so I’m not the only one:) I think I shall be keeping some of what I have and rewriting each chapter incorporating the best bits from the old. As I changed the POV so often there a re numerous mistakes now so it will just be easier to re-write. I have another book that I want to do which is 25 years old now which i have already planned the changes to update and it is a totally diff. story now!

    I do like the way these tales morph and evolve even if I am growing a little thin on top with my hair pulling
    Thanks for the luck:)

  4. Erin Zarro says:

    All of your hard work definitely deserves a WOW. Make that a double WOW!

    I had a book once (in fact, it’s the one I’m submitting to the publisher). I wrote the rough draft 10 years ago and it came in at 399k. (!!!) Back then, I knew nothing of editing, or how to tell a story, so that was okay. Over the past 10 years I’ve rewritten it 4 times and revised it countless times. The version I’m submitting bears little resemblance to the first draft, or even the second. Sometimes rewriting is the way to go — and I typically keep some of the first draft so it’s not a totally scrapping and redoing it sort of thing. But I have grown as a writer and I had to keep rewriting to bring it up to my level, whichever level it was. ;) I have another book that I wrote out of order in 12 different files. I love the story but the writing is HORRIBLE (this one’s 11 years old, my oldest!). So, I’m rewriting that, too. Some people say it’s better to just revise, because they are two different processes. I think only you will know what the story needs.

    I wish you luck. :)

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