Finished the revision of Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter that Eddie the Agent requested. I'll be sending him the latest draft as soon as Tori has had a chance to eyeball it one more time.
It's pretty good, and almost 5,000 words shorter. Some chiseled away carefully, word by word, letter by letter. Others hacked out in mass purges where I realized the scene might be very nice, might be particularly well written (usually not) or amusing or interesting, but had nothing to do with advancing the story. Again, that's gotta be one of your top rules – know what the story is and don't put in anything that doesn't advance it.
And it really amazed me a couple of times. Tori had marked a couple of places, underlining the text where she thought the writing wasn't right, the tone was off or I was wordy, or she could hear Morgan Freeman. And almost every time I realized the writing was clumsy because it didn't advance the story. It was superfluous – just me showin' off how smart I am, I'm afraid – that it stuck out like the cliched sore thumb. I was supposed t leave those underlined so she could find them again after I finished and see if the fixes worked any better. Instead, I was able to just whack almost all of them out. It wasn't that the writing was so bad. It's that they didn't belong in the book.
So she'll give it one more look, then I'll send it off to Eddie in the morning and get back to work on Scurvy Dogs! And commence waiting anxiously for his reaction to the changes. And I don't pretend to believe it's now perfect. It's much better, I really believe, but I'm not stupid. I know there's a long way to go, and probably several more revisions.