Tuesday, April 14, 2009

third draft of novel finished

Title is self-explanatory. ;o) Here are some Third Draft Stats for your perusing pleasure:

Number of Chapters: 35

Pages: 736

Word Count: ca. 220000 (Yeah, you're seeing it right: 220k. Uffda.)

Words per Chapter: ca. 6286

Pages per Chapter: ca. 21

Deaths of Named Characters: 8

Romantic Liaisons: 5

Weddings: 1

Wars: 1

Skirmishes: 6

Magical Mishaps: 5

Magical Creature Moments: 7

Possessions by Unknown Forces: 9

Major Epiphanies: 4

Characters' Breaks with Reality: 9

Writer's Breaks with Reality: continual

Writer's Cups of Coffee: 53.5

Writer's Staring Moments: 17.3

Writer's Why-Am-I-Doing-This Moments: 3.7

Seriously, though...I am feeling excited/relieved/frustrated about completing the third draft. Excited/relieved, because this means I'm one step closer to having the book ready for an agent. Frustrated, because I still have a lot of steps to go.

About 75000 steps, to be inexact.

That word count has got to come down, and frankly, I'm not sure how I'm going to do it.

I didn't set out to write an epic. But the book fits the definition, and I'm not sure how that happened.

Okay, I lie. I know exactly how it happened. I kept putting words after other words, adding commas, dashes, and quotation marks, and voy-o-lay: I got me an epic fantasy novel.

My task now is to un-epicize the monster.

Why, you ask, is this necessary? Well, the equation is simple: BigBook + NewWriter = HighCostAndNoGuaranteeOfRecoup. Epics are expensive to publish, and if a publisher is gonna publish an epic, then said publisher wants to be sure that said epic is going to bring in enough money. And no one can guarantee that a new author is going to generate that kind of revenue.

So I'm playing with a few options right now:

I can do a bit more polishing but leave the book mostly as-is, try submitting it, and see what happens (which, more than likely, will be a whole lotta nothin').

I can go back to cutting and slicing--but I must do so with care, or I risk cutting and slicing stuff that the reader *needs* in order for the story to make sense.

Or...I can do some more polishing and then try to split the book in half. I.e. pitch the book as a two-parter and see if anyone is interested.

This third idea just occurred to me today, so I have done no market research on it whatsoever. I'm a bit leery of the idea, because (a) it's very different from anything I've ever imagined concerning this book and the universe it's set in, and (b) it almost feels like the lazy way out of not having to cut and slice as radically as I know I need to.

Since (b) has occurred to me, I'm wondering if it might not be the truth.

I'm gonna let this sit for a few days. Tomorrow, I'll be blogging about my writing-related adventure of last week, so stay tuned, if you will. Or even if you won't--I'm gonna do it anyway. ;o)

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