Killled my darlings.

"In writing, you must kill your darlings." William Faulkner.

I cut about 15 percent from the first 40 pages of "Fateplay," or about 4500 words, including the original first chapter, the thing that got me excited about the story in the first place. I'd figured out a way to keep it, but then realized it wasn't really necessary.

So as much as I loved writing it, it's been cut.  I'm pretty proud of myself.

That takes more balls than I used to have.

I also unclogged a chapter that had way too much explication, taking about half and moving it to a chapter where it made more sense.

I think it reads smoother now, though I've had to excise some of the invention I wanted to impart about this world. I'm hoping that the background will bleed through. Also had to trim some characterization which wasn't as necessary with the new beginning.

Story comes first. I never want to bore the reader.

I'm pretty much done. It's 115K words now instead of 120K words, somewhat slimmed down.

I think any book with any ambition is probably going to be somewhat a mess in the writing of. And again, I wonder if I could save a lot of problems by having even just a crude outline before I start.

Problems I tend to have.

Meandering starts before the story kicks off.

Middle parts of books that just go sideways.

Ending that don't quite hit it.

Usually, by the time I've released a book, I've ameliorated these problems--or the book doesn't get released.

I've noticed that my 30K novellas don't seem to have these problems.

I have three days for one final read through, then off to the beta readers and editor. Hopefully, get it back in a month and give it one more go through. This will be the most time I've ever spent on a story, not counting Faerylander. (Which has been re-written multiple times.)

I'm going to spend the next month giving my two thrillers, "Deadfall Ridge" and "Takeover" re-writes, concentrating again on the beginnings, trying to slim them down. The second half of Takeover, especially, is really good. The first half was an experiment in characterization which was useful but needs to be changed. Killing my darlings again.