I recently finished the first draft of my work in progress (just under 51K words — it’s a YA) and am getting stuck into rewrites.
Some people dread this process, but I relish it! The difficult work of conjuring characters and plots is largely complete, and now I’m boiling down some parts while beefing up others.
At the moment, I’m going through my manuscript line by line and trying to improve as much as possible.
For instance, I just took this sentence:
‘The helpless sparrow fluttered its wings uselessly against the tangle of netting in which it was now caught.’
And changed it to this:
‘The sparrow desperately fluttered its wings against the tangle of netting in which it was caught.’
The sentence is now two words lighter and flows better, yet I’ve kept the feeling and meaning intact.
I’m also on the look out for filtering, i.e. ‘She saw the bird dig up a juicy worm’ is better put simply as: ‘The bird dug up a juicy worm’.
I’m killing off lots of adverbs and adjectives too, although not all of them as they add flavour to writing imo.
In all, I’ll probably do several rewrites before sending copies off to my beta readers to critique.
Wish me luck!