I spent last night trimming the first three chapters (here, here, and here respectively), and am feeling pretty good about the way they flow and the rest of the story pacing. I have one or two chapters I’d like to give a similar treatment to and that part will be done.
That won’t take that long, so the goals for this weekend are to make decisions and execute on any types of major cuts, rearrangements and/or additional scenes. There is one chapter I am thinking about moving, cutting another in half, and adding a cluster of scenes toward the end.
The new scenes are what have me the most worried about all this. They’re not big additions, more like expansions that should have been there anyway to add buildup for the additional scenes. It would still be complicated to splice them into the completed work, and I don’t know if they’re needed or if I want to add them as a sort of security blanket.
The cut and rearrangement will be easier and less involved. No one has objected to the cut and it wasn’t a point in the story any just loved, so not big deal there. It also has very few ripples throughout the story, which might have been the first indicator it could/should be cut.
The chapter I want to move, I am still very much on the fence for. I love the scene but it is one I have went back and forth on in relation to its necessity and worth to the story. I think the biggest thing I have done in getting this book done is trying to balance it between a series and a standalone work. I have always imagined this would be a series, and a lot of the side references in this story come back later down the line. But at what point does that become a problem? At what point have I stopped writing a book, and just presented a primer for my world? I’ve had to guard against that, and largely, I think I’ve been successful, but this one chapter feels like the last holdover for that. On the other hand, everyone loves it.
Anyway, that’s the end goal for this weekend, make the decisions and see them through. Whatever I decide, for right or wrong, past this weekend I’m not worrying about it anymore.