almost got what i want. almost found what i lost.
I start with a sentence like this:
Will sat picking at a supper of mutton and ale in the coolest corner of the common room, pages from Titus spread on the table before him and his trencher shoved to the side, the ink drying in the nib of his pen.
And I turn it into a sentence like this:
Will sat picking at a supper of mutton and ale in the coolest corner of the common room, his trencher shoved to one side and Titus spread on the table, the ink drying in his pen.
Doesn't seem like much, does it? But you would be amazed how it adds up. Do that to every single one of the 12,452 sentences in this novel (averaging 11.4 words per sentence, I might add), and you have a much tighter and better-flowing book.
The astute observer will notice that most of the important stuff I did to that sentence was not the trimming, but fixing the line of direction so the evolution of action and description flow more naturally through the movement of the prose.
Yeah, I actually do this with every dratted book. Every time I revise it.
What, you thought it fell out of my head that way?
(Hey, at least I'm blogging about revising. That's like work.)