Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What comes next?

I've been asked what comes next for this book, and what it means to say that I'm at "67000 words" (or whatever).

A novel is considered something over 75000 words, and once you get up to about 150000 or so it becomes an "epic" (aka a really big novel). I'm aiming for something like 100000 words; my first book was about 105000 when it was done. So if I say I'm at 67,000 words I'm about 67% of the way done on the first draft.

But the last half of the book usually seems to go faster than the first, for me. I've got the outline done; I know where things are going in my head, it's just getting them on paper. That speeds things up - for me, at least.

Once I'm done with the first draft, I'll do a first editing run on the computer. This is where I do major changes - pulling out entire scenes or chapters, rearranging events, ripping out unneeded exposition, backfilling details and clues to match up with later parts of the book.

Next I'll print out the whole manuscript and go over it on paper with a pen. Here, I'll look for issues with phrasing, tense, pacing, etc. that I didn't catch on the screen. Sentences will get rearranged or cut. Description will be added. Things like that.

After I do those edits, I'll be ready to send the manuscript out to people who have asked to be on the F&F review list. Hopefully they'll get comments back to me relatively quickly :) I won't agree with all of the feedback, of course, but they're good pointers as to what needs to be updated (and if several people tell me the same thing that I don't want to hear, I'll probably decide I need to listen to it anyways!).

At some point, I'll even pick a title!

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