Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Condensing Your Final Draft

Stephen King once said:

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

  It's true. On my final draft of Future Dreamer, I cut out somewhere around 10%. That's not the greatest amount, but there was a lot of excess information. In math, our teacher has always said that cutting out useless information (that is normally meant to trick you) in a math problem will help you get to the answer easier. Although you'll get to the end of the book just as easily with extra information, if you can get rid of it, people will read through it easier. 

  I think that this rule is one that should be taken seriously and followed. But, it doesn't mean you should go through your book and take out every other sentence. In Future Dreamer, I cut out a paragraph of useless information that had nothing to do with what was going on, and actually disrupted the action going on. That's the kind of information that should be taken out. 


  1. Very true, Spencer. As Stephen King says in his memoir On Writing... Writing Formula: 2nd Draft = 1st Draft - 10%

  2. Wow, then I was on target. I actually read that book, but only the first half. Had to return it to the library. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Oh. It must be done. Yes true. If you have started it, make sure you finish it. I know the feeling of those writers who haven't finished their stories yet. It is depressing.

  4. It has to be nagging at them if they don't have it finished. Thanks for the comment!