Just when you think you’re done
You’ve gone through revision after revision after revision. Will the process ever be finished? You feel like you’re in the desert and it will never end. And just when you think you’re done – you make another decision, which causes even more work.
What I’ve already done
1. Once I’d written the first draft over a year ago, I edited it down from about 110,000 to about 100.000 words.
2. I had professionally edited by a former mentor who had me cutting out a lot so I could put in a lot.
3. She and I went through this substantive edit – twice.
I should be done – right? Nope.
What I’ve decided to do
I decided to enter another contest, Operation First Novel through Christian Writers Guild. Looking at the requirements, I needed to cut 15,000 – yes – fifteen thousand words. My 100,000-word novel is just too long. Their maximum is 85,000 words. Wow. So, for the past week and a half, I’ve been cutting much more. Unfortunately, some of the richness and depth may be cut as well. But one thing about contests, if I win…it gets published.
I am, at this writing, 88,482 words – but I’ve had to cut out minor subplots that might have enriched the reader’s experience.
What else I’m going to do
And you know what else? I’m going to cut another 10,000 words once this is done – to try to qualify for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line of historical romance. Their maximum word count is 75,000 words.
But I have no fear – every version is still kept, they’re each called something a bit different.
So….will the process end? Inevitably, it will. There’s just more revision to do…at least for now. Jerry Jenkins of the Left Behind series, was once asked “When do you know you’re finished?” His reply: “When you’re not making it any better.”
I like that.
Oh – my novel is called Meghan’s Choice. Watch for it sometime next year – it will get published one way or another. It’s historical romance set in 1871 Kansas. Nineteen-year-old Meghan Gallagher expects to marry a handsome Cavalry captain, but he dumps her. When her father demands she work for a year to mature, she sets out to teach in a wild Kansas railroad town. There, her biggest challenge isn’t surviving a gunshot wound or fighting a killer tornado. It’s deciding between a cowboy and a doctor who are both after her heart.
I’ll have more pointers about self-publishing. I’m reading a two-book for one e-book that initially showed great promise. The story is wonderful, but there are some things that I see this author doing. Whenever I see these things, I always check to see if they published themselves or if a publishing house editor missed it.
It’s a funny thing…I’ve noticed that with several “popular” Christian fiction writers…there are still spelling & grammar errors in their writing! I’ve come to the conclusion that these writers, once their work catches on & they start becoming popular, are under pressure from their editors to “produce”. The editors know their work will probably sell, so they give them “deadlines”. Some people work well under pressure, but most people don’t. Your first novel will probably have the most revisions of any novel you write! Thanks for your blog & sharing with the rest of us!
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You aren’t a kiddin’ Dorothy. I think I’m finally done though. Even so, the publishing house editors should catch grammatical errors and spelling. I think most editors are English majors. It’s one of the main jobs they can get. If they’re not doing their job, then the quality goes down, as you’re seeing. Thanks Dorothy. 🙂