I’ve been busy, busy, busy revising my original manuscript for the first book in the Off the Escalator series — slimming it down from a gargantuan 105,000 words to around 60-70,000 words. For awhile I was really struggling with how to do this, especially how to better manage integrating quotes curated from over 1000 surveys.
But I think I’ve got a handle on those problems, and I’m making tons of progress.
Keep in mind: I have a categorized library of thousands of quotes from surveys, and that’s just the stuff that was good enough that I thought I might want to use it! Picking and choosing from that wealth to explain, succinctly, the various ways that people go about stepping off the Relationship Escalator, is daunting. My first draft had waaaaaaaaayyyyy too many quotes.
Initially I was seeking the help of an editor to revise the book. But as I continued working on this project, I found 3 very simple rules that have helped immensely in making this book flow well, while including a diversity of voices and views:
- No chapter more than 2000 words long.
- No more than two quotes in a row without some transitional text.
- End each chapter with an extended quote (a few paragraphs), which gives me a chance to present a little more storytelling and personal voice.
And it seems to be working! I’m thrilled with how the manuscript is shaping up since I started following these rules. I just keep reminding myself: my cutting room floor is my factory floor. Every bit of good content will get used, somehow. If not in the initial book, then in subsequent books or on this website.
Oh yeah, this website! While I’m focusing on editing, producing and publishing the book, I’m not really taking the time to write many blog posts. But I do want to give you a taste of what’s to come. So for a while, I’ll be posting here some excerpts from the book-in-progress, or some of my favorite quotes from the survey.
What would you like to hear more about, related to unconventional relationships? Parenting? Communication? Sex? Accommodating differences? Dealing with stigma? Making the world a friendlier place for unconventional relationships? Anything you’re curious about, I guarantee someone discussed it in my survey. Please comment below or e-mail me to let me know what interests you, and I’ll do a blog post about it.