Tag Archives: First Draft

Dude, Your First Draft is Way, Way, Way Too Long

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

Gah! Not good, Dostoyevsky!

You’ve spent the better part of a decade laboring over handwritten notes, turning them into an epic narrative that saw it outlive three different personal computers, four jobs, three apartments, six girlfriends, two cars, and eighteen fish. You snuck off on lunch breaks to work on it, zoned out of conference calls, paid no attention while your roommates watched all of Breaking Bad, and now where are you? You’re 175,000 words completed, and the only thing that can be said is your book is way, way too long.

What the hell were you thinking? Did you really need 500 pages to tell the story of some sad consignment store owner looking for love and meaning in his humdrum Grand Rapids life? And no, it doesn’t matter if its great, it really doesn’t. You’re not Jonathan Franzen, and you will never get the opportunity to tell Oprah to go screw herself. You wrote this goddamn opera of commerce and innuendo, and you want to slay forests to get it five inches from the faces of housewives the world over, right? Well then it’s time to make with the editing, Charlie, and don’t be a pussy about it. Continue reading

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