Sunday, March 30, 2008

1st Rewrite Complete

Surprised myself by finishing off the first rewrite over the weekend. I say surprised because I wasn't expecting to get through it in just a little over a week. I guess the first draft was better than I thought it would be. Either that or like I said in the earlier post, I'm delusional. Either way, I know I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far. I'll start a polish read on Monday then ship it off to get some impartial feedback.

Second draft word count a/o today: 79105

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Layout

As you can see, I've been monkeying around with the layout of the page. The other template was too cramped and hard to read. This one's easier on the eyes so I think I'm going to try it out for a while. I like the layout but I'm not sure about the color. Comments?

They Really Should Call It Rewriting

The rewrite's going well. I'm a little over halfway through my first pass and I'm surprised I'm not wincing as much as I thought I would be. Made several story and continuity repairs along the way that included small trims and the cutting of the entire first chapter. In looking at it I saw that it was largely exposition, too self-aware, and not very interesting. Gee, wouldn't that be a great way to start a book?! The tiny bits of necessary info that were in it were easily slipped into later chapters. The thing I'm happiest about is that I was able to figure that out myself and not have to be told by an editor or agent that it was crap.

Hoping to get the manuscript to my beta reader by the end of next week. That's when I'll get the first hint of whether it's half way decent or I'm delusional. I've read that one of the pitfalls of aspiring novelists is that they can fall in love with their words and not see that they're serving up a great big steaming cow pie. I like what I'm reading so far but I'm not kidding myself. Reliable notes are priceless if you have the good sense to take them.

Met with a book agent last week who's interested in repping a picture book manuscript of mine. She really seems on the ball and is passionate about good books. I like her and I'm excited to see what she can do with it.

Second draft word count a/o today: 79229

Friday, March 21, 2008

Woo hoo!

That's right, uh huh. I finished the first draft today. What a great feeling. Even though I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me, I can now honestly say that I started and finished a novel. With the bulk of the hard work and heavy lifting out I the way, I'll be turning my attention to the more enjoyable process of editing. I suppose that means I like fixing things more than making them from scratch.

I'm taking the weekend off then starting the rewrite on Monday. The way I think it's going to work is that I'll make several passes on it myself until I'm confident that a minimum of 85% of it doesn't blow chunks. Then I'll hand it over to my beta reader(s) for some fresh eyeball feedback. After I get those notes, I'll do another pass or two (or three or four...) before writing up the synopsis (and possibly a query letter). The reason I'm not automatically writing the letter is that I have an in at two publishing houses thanks to my picture book editors. Once I get the novel into reasonably good shape, I'll meekly ask them if it might be something they'd be interested in taking a look at. No guarantees, but a definite advantage over being agentless with no publishing contacts.

First draft word count a/o today: 80005 -- Woo hoo!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Onward!

Finished off another draft of my chapter book, Malcolm, and sent it off to the publisher. A chapter book is kind of an early novel -- designed for elementary school readers. My editor Liz has really been giving me some good notes that have been a joy to work from -- really ended up making the manuscript better. Take it from one who's HAD to execute bad notes, (cough) TV animation (cough), it makes a huge difference when the note giver is on the ball. I'm well pleased with how it turned out and hope they like it, too.

Started back on Leonard. Two more chapters then it's off to rewrite land. Send powerful energizing vibes my way so I can "crank this sucka!"

First draft word count a/o today: 64867