The piece I’m working on at the moment is targeted for a specific publication. They have a call out for stories on a topic about which I feel I have a lot to say. I was poking around on their website yesterday, to check deadlines and such, when I realised that their word limit for creative non-fiction is 3,500. This became a problem, since my piece was sitting at 4,100 words and wasn’t finished yet.
I headed to my coffee shop this afternoon, needing to finish at least a current draft of the piece. The deadline for my writers’ group is tomorrow, and I have an interview tomorrow afternoon, so this was going to be my last real opportunity. So, in addition to cleaning up, tweaking and polishing, not to mention writing the end, I also found myself pruning. For the most part, I think the cutting helped. The piece is tighter and less messy. Even with the added ending, it’s sitting at about 3,860 now. I just don’t know where the last 360 words are going to come out. At what point does more cutting start to hurt rather than help?
The piece is going out to my writers’ group, either tonight or tomorrow. I’ll wait and see what they have to say on Thursday. Then, I guess, I take another pass.