cut, cut, cut.
Let me explain. I got the writing bug. (And it wasn’t anything like the tick my hubbie just pulled from scalp. I know. Ew.)
I researched. I wrote the story.
Then I stumbled across some great advice on websites. You know, the list of words to avoid (seemed to, just, started to, actually…) I gasped and then scrolled through my manuscript like a crazy woman to free my writing of those words. Those websites were a terrific help.
But, when it came to revising, the big piece of advice plastered everywhere was cut, cut, cut. I couldn’t see anything to cut, so I went to query. No surprise, my early attempts were rejected.
I couldn’t cut, cut, cut because I underwrite. I still do. I didn’t have pages and pages of description, unneeded dialogue, or rambling inner thoughts to trim. I still don’t. When I’m done with a first draft, I have to read through and mark the places to flesh out, add more internal thoughts, add some description, add details…
So before you cut, cut, cut – first you have to figure out if you overwrite or underwrite. Sure, my first work needed major rewriting, but I couldn’t see that then. What beginner can?
When you were starting out, what was the biggest piece of advice that either misguided you or you totally didn’t get until later?