Thursday, June 4, 2009

Word Counts and Revising

What I'm Listening To: Buffy the Vampire Slayer OST, Once More, With Feeling! - Overture; Going Through the Motions

What I'm Doing: Reading A Spell for Chameleon and catching up on my internety things before I knuckle down to writing again.

It's been about three days since my last post. When I posted then, my wordcount had doubled from about 6k in words to about 12k. Three days later, it's doubled again. I'm currently sitting on about 22k in words, and am working towards 24k, for the next chapter of AftG.

This is amazing to me, the chronic unfinisher. I realise that the higher the words get, the harder this will be, but I've doubled my wordcount in three days. Imagine if I doubled the wordcount every three or four days? Can you imagine how quickly it will get written?

Janet Reid asked, How Do You Know When To Query?

And then she answered herself. It was not comforting, especially to me, (I have the attention span of a gnat, and the mentality of a magpie - OH, SHINY!).

She said before you query your first novel, write another one.

I said, '...what?'

She also said that the revision process should not be quick, and gave the example, "If it took you a year to write the novel, you should take six months to revise it," which left me in something of a quandary. It's going to take me... approximately a month, possibly as much as two months to complete the first draft of Eversong. By her 'half-time' rule of revision, this means I should only spend two weeks revising? I think not!

Before this rambles totally out of control, I'll get back to my previous points.

If I double my wordcount every three-four days, that means that by the seventh, I'd have 40k words. And by my brother's eleventh birthday, a complete novel at 80k words. Granted, it won't work that way. But can you imagine it? And by my own opinion, despite the quickness with which Eversong is flinging itself onto the pages, it's not bad.

I certainly won't try querying it immediately; the minute I finish it, I'm going to shunt it off to the side for a month or two, and either take a break from writing, or as Janet Reid suggested, start working on one of the other ones. It's a toss-up between M&M and Perfect; I'll figure out which one I want to write when I get there.
My first thought was that I'd immediately begin working on Return to Eversong, but I realised that that would be a Bad Idea. The point of leaving the novel alone for a set amount of time is to forget the characters, forget the story-line, and forget what you've written, and immediately launching into the sequel is not the way to do this.

But when my alloted revision time is up, I'm going to revise, and edit, and reread, and find a critique circle comprised of one or two friends and one or two strangers, so I can get both friendly advice and completely impartial opinions. And then I'm going to write my synopsis and my query, revise them both, and then begin building a list of agents to query who are outside my blogosphere.

People commented on Janet's post, saying that it's taken them anywhere from a year to fifteen years to write their first novel, and that it wasn't always their first novel that was accepted; often it was their third, fourth, fifth novel. If Eversong is not accepted immediately, I'll wait a year or two, find some new agents, and try again. I'm fond of all the ideas I've constructed, but Eversong is my baby, and I will not rest until it's published. I might be able to shelve M&M if it's never accepted, or Perfect (although my ego demands that I add, I doubt I will have many problems with Perfect. Granted, I haven't done extensive research into crime/suspense novels, but my gut tells me that it's a fairly original idea.) but Eversong will never be 'the book that never got published.'

Speaking of Eversong, if I want to think about querying it, I've first got to finish it, so I'll let you all be now, and get back to it.


  1. Congrats on your word count! You are FLYing, but I guess that's what happens when you're inspired and motivated, all at once. Here's to completed your first draft within a month. :)

  2. p.s. I LOVED that episode of Buffy, and the soundtrack was awesome. I get the songs stuck in my head randomly, when I haven't seen the episode in months--or even years. RIP, Buffy. RIP. (Or, as Spike would say, "Let me rest in peace. Let me get some sleep. Let me take my love and bury it in a hole six feet deep ..." :D) I guess I could read the comics, but I just can't get in to them. I'm off to do some writing--I'm oh ... 2400 words or so behind my goal for the past 3 days. Eek!

  3. re: critique circle

    I told you a couple chapters ago that I have a hard time formulating feedback and whatnot when I can't see the entire picture.

    If you want, though, when it's all done, I'll write you out a letter of things I liked, things I think could've been touched on more, and other sorts of advice. A mini editorial letter, or something. I'd even send it by post. XD