Sometimes I feel like I'd be better off not revising.... The short story I wrote the other day, Dodging
, started out at about 1200 words. Then I decided there was an info dump that was too many facts, too abruptly, right at the end, so I went back and added two scenes to ease readers into the info. Now the story is 2400 words long. 1200 words just to avoid one 50 word paragraph info dump. Hmm... maybe the info dump would have been better!
Seems like that is always the way I end up going -- I read over what I've written and say, gosh, there needs to be another scene here. Or, I ought to show this rather than tell it, and then I end up with twice as much material.
It never goes the other direction -- I never say, you know, this scene really doesn't add to the plot or the character develoment or anything -- it's just extraneous info. Maybe that's because I'm not very good at seeing what isn't needed, cause I'm too in love with my characters. Or maybe that just reflects the fact that I tend to write fast and may gloss over things that needed filling out.
I know a lot of writers say go back and cut, cut, cut. And, to be sure, there are places where I can cut -- usually when I've said the same thing twice, just in subtly different ways. It's just there more places to add than to cut.
Interestingly, I very, very rarely get the comment that my writing drags, that there's too much info weighing it down. More often I'll get, "Gosh, we got from point a to point b awfully quickly."
Whyever it may be, I figure if I want the final draft to be x number of words, I should aim for 2x/3 of the goal. Then when I get done editing, it'll be about right....