I continue the process of manuscript revision. It seems like a real slog; almost as slow-going as writing a first draft. I am working on “situating” certain scenes, sequels, dialogues, and narrative to draw my readers into the story, especially the surroundings, impacting my characters at a specific time or place. What does it look like? Smell like? What sounds vibrate? Any tastes happening? All the senses need to be there.
To do this, as I see it, I have three options:
- I must have been there, a witness myself recently, or
- I must be able to recall the details from earlier days, or
- I must take virtual tours by finding pertinent facts on the internet.
In other words, each setting takes recall or research; a time-consuming endeavor.
I do have fragments of this missing information available from several earlier drafts which are saved in various forms. (Thank you oh great gods of the written word who reminded me that electronic and physical backups were advisable.) Why were these details deleted? Because I was told by teachers, colleagues, agents, published authors that word count needed to be watched; if it went above a certain limit, it showed a lack of control; a wordiness; the dreaded plague of a novice writer. Also, adding telling details about each setting slowed down that holy territory called action.
But, thus far, I am pleased with the outcome of these embellished pages. I can see my characters more clearly because I can visualize what surrounds them. Maybe I’ve have been a closet “situator” all along, just waiting to be liberated. I will fret about the total word count after I get this latest version completed. The plot thickens.