Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No turning back now!

I sent my first query letter for HOUND this morning.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proof that dreams do come true: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Nothing like a chapter of awesome to start your day right.

Beth Revis, blogger friend and writing buddy, is living the dream. She worked hard for her success and reading her blog and being part of her journey in a even a small way has really made breaking into print seem more like possibility and less like a pipe dream.

Right now, the first chapter of her novel is up on her novel's official launch site. Go read. You'll understand right away why this novel is going to be a hit. Personally, I think Across the Universe is going to do for YA sci-fi what The Hunger Games did for YA dystopian fiction.

Go get 'em, Beth!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The end is near...as in, one scene away!

I wrote/rewrote/revised 12 scenes over the last three days - 22,760 words.

I have one left - the ending (I even skipped ahead to write my eipilogue first...haha! Stage fright, perhaps?) I wanted to finish last night but I was pretty much burnt out by the time Erik got home from work and going a little stir crazy!

Apparently, when I need to get out of the house after a long day of writing, I want to shop for random shit. This included four mugs (same mug, different colors: purple, green, yellow, red), a neon green towel-rug to match my insane shower curtain covered in neon color sea creatures (I was sad said rug didn't come shaped like a fish. The search continues!), and a set purple hangers. Oh, and cat food.

I'm very excited. I have chapters 29-33 and the epilogue printed out for my first review. Chapater 34 will be one long scene and the last of the book. Right now, looks like I'll end up at about 147,000 words, and about 514 pages, double spaced. I've done trimming on pages 1-233, and got rid of about 20k words (this included cutting two scenes and combining two others). So, I confident at the very worst I'll be able to trim it back to around 130k just by tweaking and cutting extra words and not cutting more scenes. Ideally, I want to get under 120k. (Even if under means 119,999, dang it!)

My query goal date is Sept 20.

I am confident this will happen. And that when I finish this last scene, that I will have told the story I set out to tell two years ago.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Advice on word count

In my recent struggle with my ever growing word count - which I think will top out at 160k for this draft before I start cutting back - I decided to email one of the editors I worked with at BONI. I thought her advice was interesting, and something that might help others trying to trim that final draft.

I'd advise you to not worry about it right this minute, to finish it all up and then let it sit for just a bit. Then go back in and first edit for larger story issues, asking yourself what, if anything, you can remove in terms of CONTENT. Are there scenes that don't quite further the action of the story or that play out at much the same emotional "temperature" as immediately preceding or following scenes? Be tough and ask, "WILL THE READER MISS THIS?" Not, of course, whether or not YOU'LL miss it because you clearly might but whether or not the reader's experience will be significantly diminished without that scene.

THEN, after you've done that larger scale edit, I'd go back through and do the "house cleaning" line edit, looking for redundancies, etc. I think you'll be surprised how much fat you can trim away without hurting the story. In fact, often doing so makes things sharper and more resonant.

With just a few minutes spent thinking about her advice, I came up with three places where I should be able to cut scenes. I hope they are many, many words. :)