I’ve been editing Witches like mad for the past two months. Mad, I tell you. Until some days I just wanted to strangle my characters, or merely use some transparent act of God to kill them all off at once so they wouldn’t make my head hurt anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I love this story. Love it. However, it’s been running around in my brain, in some form or another, for almost ten years. That hurts just to type those words. Ten. Years. So, I think I can be forgiven for getting a little tired of the story. Only occasionally, mind you, as I haven’t been working on it continuously for ten years. Far from it. The original first draft ended at around 297,000 words. Yes. Far too long. The second draft was about 50k shorter. I’ve mostly finished the current editing pass, and it’s sitting at 197k. So, all in all, I’ve cut 100k from the story. Yeah. I’ve cut, in essence, an entire book from this story, and I know I still need to cut at least 50k. I have about eight more chapters to re-visit, all of which I marked in my notes as possible cuts. When I finish that, I’m going to put this story aside for a while and let it breath.
But you know what? I still love these characters. They don’t bore me. They pop into my head at unexpected moments. I still can’t wait to see what happens to them. I think that’s a good sign. Heck, a lot of the real people I know have more than started to bore me after I knew them for ten years. But not my characters. So up next, when I finish the little bit of clean-up I have left on this draft, I’m going to finish writing the sequel to Witches. And I know, the draft of that story won’t be anywhere near as long as the first draft of Witches.
All in all, I’ll be happy to put Witches aside. For now.