Well That Answers That

Once again, I realize that it has been so very long since I’ve updated this blog. But, alas, that may be the case during the summers until my children get old enough that they both start disappearing off to camps and friends houses and such. Every spare second I’ve had this summer I’ve thrown myself into writing. And if I’m not writing, I’ve been reorganizing my house, which is quite the task in and of itself. (and, um, Pinterest). But the work I intended to do during the baby nap wound up taking me far less time than anticipated today and so here I am (until such time as I head off to build blanket forts with Kid A).

Before I say anything else, I would just like to give everyone the heads up that Miss Hill’s second book, Possession, will be available in two weeks. If you all read Bound (which I’m assuming you all did), you know that this is big news. It’s a great read and you should all go and mark your calendars. I’ll wait.

Done? Excellent. Well, then, onto my own writing updates. I have finally, as of today, pretty much finished my query letter and synopsis for Darkness Bared. Each of these took me several complete do-overs, but I have them at a point now where I think I’m okay with them. I just have one reader left to look over the synopsis and then I’m fully out of excuses. I’ve also compiled a short (thus far) list of agents and once I’ve contacted those I’ll be hunting for more.  A very exciting but nerve-wracking process, this. If you need me, I’ll be celebrating under my couch.

The relatively minor writing event that brought me to my blog today happened just now, and is the reason that I have a bit of time on my hands to update. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I will say that my intention today was to read through the first three chapters to see if I should cut the first and work the details that happen there through the next two. The reason is that chapter one is told from a specific point of view – the POV of the original protagonist who wound up stepping aside to another character by the time the novel was complete. (I may be a pantser, but that one even surprised me). As such, my novel opens with one character, but my query and synopsis focus on another and that concerned me. So I first asked my readers. A few told me it might be worth considering, chopping that first chapter. But the reader who wanted me to keep the first chapter was absolutely vehement. I got emails with capital letters and curse words. Nonetheless, I figured I should read through it and go with my gut. Chapters 1-3 are about 30 pages, so that was my plan for this afternoon.

Two pages in, decision made. The chapter stays for the time being. I like it too much. I was drawn back into that world almost immediately. If an agent or editor suggests cutting it later, I’ll be more than willing to have that discussion, but for now, it is staying put.

And with that question answered, I can move ahead with absolutely no more procrastination. Excepting Pinterest, of course. Nothing sucks the time out of my day quite like Pinterest. 🙂

 

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Must…not…edit… – okay, maybe just a little.

Since finishing the first draft of the manuscript last week, I’ve been finding it very difficult to keep my hands off of it and not start editing the hell out of it. I know that you are supposed to let a draft ‘rest’ for a time, but I’ve never been very good at that – often I edit earlier sections before the first draft is even done. The only reason I didn’t really do that this time was because I was so desperate to get the draft finished before going into labour. Letting this draft rest is a good idea. First, my brain can subconsciously work on some of those content issues that I know are lingering in there. Second, Kid 1 is on March Break so how much time could I actually devote to it this week? And third, how far am I really going to get before I have no choice but to shelve it for a while?

Oh, I also have a copy of a friend’s first draft and I really owe her some editorial commentary…

So yes, shelving it for a while is clearly the best plan.

At the same time, though…

My husband suggested that perhaps I just look at the first three chapters, if I’m that desperate. After all, that’s usually all an agent or editor wants right away. I resisted this at first – the interested party I have wanted the whole thing when it was done. I did consider the idea though, since there’s a possibility that that won’t pan out and I’ll have to go elsewhere. So, just out of curiousity, I popped open the first three chapters.  At which point I made a rather surprising discovery: the first three chapters wound up being SIXTY-ONE pages (of a 256 page, 22 chapter whole).

Excuse me?

Upon further investigation I found that Chapter 1 is about 4 000 words. Fine.

Chapter 2 is 12 000 words.

Chapter 3 is 10 000 words.

Oops. So yes…if I do find a chance to put in any work on it this week, apparently my first task will be determining where the first three chapters actually should be and maybe then putting in a bit of editing time on those.

Critique Class continues to go well…I’ve now also had my short piece reviewed and once again received very positive feedback. This was a 900 word piece that I read aloud to my smaller group, none of whom had heard it or seen it before (unlike the long piece which was emailed a week in advance to the entire class). A couple of people even told me that they liked it better than the longer piece! So I came away feeling very happy (and validated!) once again. Prepping this short piece also at least allowed me to do a tiny bit of editing, which helped my twitchiness about it. Now I’m off the hook until the second half of the class, as far as presenting my own writing is concerned.

Prep for baby 2 continues at a pretty frantic pace. I’m feeling (marginally) less panicky now that the nursery is painted and we’ve bought most of the things we’ll need for the baby and the hospital stay. Eleven days…crazy. I don’t quite believe sometime in the next two weeks I’m going to have two kids!