Monday, September 10, 2012

DONE and done....

Because I wasn't going to work on the book until evening, sit back with a glass of wine and read it, I was at loose ends most of the day.

I wrote a synopsis of the book, since that seems to be what agents want, and a cover letter. Both preliminary, but it's a start.

Getting everything prepared to present to the agents and publishers is the hardest part of writing for me. I wonder how many writers don't get any farther? How many try for only a while and give up?

I'm thinking as many writers as never actually finish the novel they started.

LATER: Read and edited the last 7 chapters of The Reluctant Wizard.

It didn't come as easily as the first 13 chapters, because the accumulated changes from earlier in the book caught up to me. Some motivations changed, a big 'reveal' which changed the tone of two later chapters.

It's a mix of saving what parts you can, changing what you can, subtracting what doesn't make sense, and adding what you need to make the scene work. Much more awkward than when the first draft just flows.

Still, this is probably the least number of changes I've ever had to make between a first draft and a second draft.

I'm up to 38,000 words, with a target of 40,000. Most young adult novels are between 40K and 60K, so this is on the lower end of that scale, but the story is complete.

I tend to add a few thousand words with every go through -- filling in, explaining, describing. Most often, a scene seems to shift abruptly, and I realized I'm missing a line or two of dialogue or an explanation or something, so it doesn't seem incomplete.

So the book will no doubt be over 40K before I'm done.

O.K. So.

Now I can start being critical of the book. Now I can let my editorial brain take over. Nowhere near as fun, but necessary.

I pretty much have to fool myself that I'm "DONE" and done, before I move on to the next stage, and then once again, I'm "DONE" and done, and so on.

I'm thinking this book is mostly done. I want to read it out loud, and catch any awkward phrasing, any repeated words, and tonal malfunctions.

Fiddle with it, as long as it's in my possession.

But I'm happy with it.

Does that mean it might get published? The odds are against it -- no matter whether I think it is good, or not. No matter if it really is good or not. There are so many other factors that I can't control.

But I'll give it a shot.

1 comment:

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Most young adult novels are between 40K and 60K, so this is on the lower end of that scale, but the story is complete."

Just tell the publisher to set it in big type.