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Never Eat Sugar Cookies While Writing

So I’ve been writing away on the next book trying to get it finished, and working like crazy over the holidays. And unfortunately eating right along with the pages. As a result my book seems to have grown rather, ahem, fat on that diet. Apparently a steady influx of fudge, cookies and candy canes has a way of sneaking pages into your manuscript, while also adding to the writer’s bottom line.

(That in itself is a subject for another day).

But as for my current dilemma, I glanced up at my page count the other day as I’ve been doing my clean up work on Mad About the Duke and was thrilled because it was coming out perfect–until I got to the middle of the book and realized this huge section was missing.

Gone. Poof. As in not there. Now aside from the need for air and medical intervention via Writer 911, I finally did find the pages and tucked them into their rightful place, and to my horror saw my page count go up, and up, and up and then over what I can turn in. 420 pages? And I still have a love scene and half of another chapter to fit in.

I can see my dear and beloved editor falling out of her chair if my book hit her desk like the NYC Yellow Pages, and so to avoid having to call Editor 911 on her behalf, I know I have to do something.

Rather, something has to go.

I hate getting out my red Uniball and drawing big red X’s across a scene, but I do it nearly every book. You might not know it, but there is a huge chunk of How I Met My Countess that got axed in much the same fashion. Sorry, but the fun ballroom scene where Clifton and Malcolm take the sisters out to prove that society will welcome them (which it doesn’t) got the Uniball bloodbath.

But this time, I don’t think I can just chainsaw out a chapter and call it good. I am going to have to do some really precision cutting and thoughtfully remove some, ahem, fat. But what to cut?

I think I’ll bake a batch of sugar cookies and mull it over. But then again, I suspect the cookies are the real problem here . . .

So how are you getting rid of your holiday excess?

5 comments to “Never Eat Sugar Cookies While Writing”

  1. Maggie Rietman
    January 11th, 2010 at 8:22 am · Link

    I just finished How I met My Countess, and it was great! I am now wondering if Mad about the Duke is about The Duke of Parkerton, and Elinor Sterling? A good friend suggested your books, and she did me a great favor. I read all of the Bachelor Chronicles, and can’t wait for your next book to come out! By the way when is that!

  2. Landon
    January 14th, 2010 at 3:03 pm · Link

    hahaha. i’m trying to workout more. this is the first time i’ve commented on your blog and i love it! its so fun to read and your books are amazing. 🙂

    just finished one night of passion. 🙂

  3. Jackie Frye
    January 18th, 2010 at 11:06 am · Link

    Maybe you could publish a “this got cut” book. I think your fans books would enjoy reading it. Well, speaking for myself I would enjoy reading it! If you are a Stephen King fan you know he published an unabridged copy of “The Stand” many many years after the original book was released. His editor told him the manuscript was to long and something had to be cut. They edited out an entire character; he appeared once in the originally published copy – as a dead body. So I’m just saying don’t total delete those scenes!

  4. Chrystal Lanning
    January 19th, 2010 at 3:00 pm · Link

    My Dear Elizabeth! You don’t know how excited I am to be contacting you. I am always checking the book section in the stores to see if I can find a book you may have written and today was my lucky day! Remember me, we worked at Stafford Frey together way back when? I have thought of you often and wondered how you have been doing. I am thrilled that you are writing and I picked up a copy of “How I Met My Countess” and look forward to reading it. Love to chat with you in the near future. Love, Chrystal (your “old” buddy)

  5. Michelle
    January 20th, 2010 at 5:45 am · Link

    I’m not doing anything about it. It’s just there and I’ve decided to get to know it better. Maybe then I will appreciate it more – like on cold days when those really skinny people are freezing and wishing for more insulation. – Now if I only didn’t live in Florida…
    BTW – I just finished HIMMC and it was absolutely wonderful! I am so hoping to see more interaction between the dowagers in the next book. Nothing like good female bonding amidst romance! Thanks again for a great read!

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