Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Editing Pains

As most of you know, I'm almost done my rewrite of Overlord, Book 4 of The Great Man series. Yesterday, just as I finished my daily 3 000 words, bringing the current word count to just over 106 000, I came across a very large section that was now entirely redundant. I could salvage none of it.

So with a sigh, I highlighted all 6 000 odd words of it, and pressed ctl+x. That's 6 000 words gone. Effectively, two days of writing cancelled.

Of course my story is ten kajillion (is that even a number?) times better for it, but it's still a bit sad to watch the words vanish. To make myself feel better, I pasted them into a new document and dubbed it 'cut from Overlord.' So the words aren't really gone, they just won't appear in the finished version of the first draft of the rewrite, and thus any draft thereafter.

There was some nostalgia attached to those words. That section was all 100% original prose. The first ever words of the first ever version of The Great Man, stretching as far back as when I thought the series was only one book. That's a long, long time ago.

I was so distraught at effectively cancelling out two whole days worth of writing, I did some writing overtime yesterday and managed to write another 3 000. This, of course, means that though I wrote a whopping 6 000 words yesterday, my actual word count remains largely unaltered.

Now that's frustrating! Had I not been well over the absolute minimum of 100 000, I'd have cared a great deal more.

Last night, as my flatmate howled in despair over the result of the Montreal Canadians vs. Boston Bruins hockey match, I managed to daydream up a whole bunch of stuff for Overlord. I need to get it all down before it vanishes. Thus, I'll leave you now, but not before I give you today's Forgotten English.

Bouffage

A satisfying meal; adopted from Old French bouffage [defined in its original sense by Cotgrave below]. "His inwards and flesh remaining could make no bouffage, but a light bit for the grave." Letter of Sir Thomas Browne, 1672.
-Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1888

Any meat that, eaten greedily, fils the mouth, and makes the cheeks to swell; cheek-puffing meat.
- Randle Cotgrave's Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, 1611.

3 comments:

Hydriotaphia said...

Definition of bouffage to be precise comes from Sir Thomas Browne's consolatory essay, 'A letter to a friend' first published posthumously in 1690, believed to have been written in 1656.

Pam Asberry said...

I am doing a lot of cutting as I work on my revision, as well. You are right; it hurts to let those words go, but I am learning that this is an essential part of the process. Keep up the good work!

S.M. Carrière said...

It very much is. Still, I can't help but feel a small pang watching those words vanish from the page.