Building a world by trimming the fat


My current work-in-progress is at that first revision stage.  The first draft is done, that initial feeling of accomplishment gone, now its time to get to work.

My biggest dilemma with revisions is knowing what to cut, what to keep, and what to re-word. (I know, sounds like all revisions, right?) But this time, in addition to chopping away at my many extra adjectives and scenes, I’m also going to be adding quite a bit – a new experience for me when it comes to first-round revisions.  With my last manuscript, I cut over 10,000 words in the first-round revision.  This time, I’ll be adding almost that much.

World-building is the key.  I know this thanks to my wonderful agent, Joanna.  It’s not enough to simply allude to a main character’s inspiring relationship or influential past.  It needs to be illustrated enough to provide the reader a realistic motivation behind my main character’s actions.

So that’s what I’ll be doing today – world-building.  In as few, concise words as possible.  Of course, if I go overboard on the descriptions again, it won’t be that bad.  After all, there’s always those second-round revisions to consider:)


About Megan Powell

Coffee loving, boo-boo kissing, mom and fan-girl who also happens to be the author of Urban Fantasy novels, NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED and its sequel, NO LOVE FOR THE WICKED. Check out my upcoming releases at

2 responses »

  1. Oooh, revisions. Fun!

    World-building does take up a lot of words, though, doesn’t it? The “final” draft of my UF was 115,000 words, which I freaked about submitting. So I went back and cut every possible word and paragraph I could and still have the book make sense. I got it down to 105k when I submitted to agents. Then, of course, I had to do revisions and I cringed as the word count rose to 106, 107… eventually hitting 110k words. lol

    I’m suspecting the word count might go higher on my next revision. *head desk*

    Good luck! And if you pick up any tips along the way, pass them on. 🙂

    • I haven’t submitted this one to Jo yet – want to get through this first round and maybe have my writer’s group read it first:) But I know the head/desk relationship well!

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