From time to time, I talk about the novel I wrote a few years ago. I worked really hard on it, and I think it’s a good story. I tried to get it published once, but was told it was way too long, and if I cut it down, I may have a chance. I couldn’t. At that point, I couldn’t see the story anymore. I could only see that work that I had put it into it.

Every once in a while, over the past three years, I would take it out, tinker with it, and put it back away. But, two weeks ago, I found I had a three week span of  time where I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with my time.

So, I declared myself on a writer’s retreat and have been living in my novel’s files ever since. I find even breaking away to eat or sleep is an intrusion. I eat once a day, and sleep when I must. I have find my coffee addiction is helpful here, as coffee is known to act as an appetite suppressant.

And I’ve certainly gotten somewhere with the book. The piece is far from where it was when I started, almost all of its major problems fixed. The only thing is….it’s still way too long.

And as I snip, and rewrite, and rearrange and move things around (ever so grateful for Scrivener and the features that make having multiple versions, drafts, and unused material all conveniently at hand with just a click) I wonder if I am sucking the life out of my piece. Do my characters still breathe, and live, and think…or have I cut out their essence. I am still out on that one.

I have one more week, and so much further to go. But, I find myself wondering if I want to go that far.


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