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Mar 2, 2007

The Novel Merry-go-Round

Naturally, I have a novel I am trying to sell. Now the first draft is complete, so I’ll start posting a few excerpts in this blog. I've begun the merry-go-round attempt to interest a publisher so I can I can entice an agent to represent me, or interest an agent in representing me so I can entice a publisher to buy the book.

So far I have sent it to seventeen agents. I've had three requests for partials and one request for a full manuscript. I've received the usual formal reject letters, as well as one or two warm and encouraging reject letters.

[BABYWATCH: He's behind me on a pillow, chewing one of his books, babbling. I was worried about him for while because he seemed behind in his babbling. He seemed to only use vowels. However, he now babbles consonant sounds as well, and makes "phrases" that sound like conversation.]

I also have a crit group, mostly folks from OWW, for novel exchange critiques. I have five or six novels I am reading for them, and they will read my novel in turn.

One of the main problems with the book is its length, which, even after paring down, rolls in at 175,000 words. If I could just find a way to chop off another 25,000 words, it would work for Luna, Harlequin’s new female-oriented fantasy line. In other respects, I think it would be perfect for that.

[BABYWATCH: He is no longer crawling under my chair. He now stands underneath my chair, using the edge of the seat to balance on his shaky little legs. ]

There are two ways to cut words. One is to cut out whole scenes, or even whole subplots. The other way is to tighten the writing in each scene. I would prefer to do the later, but it’s harder. Especially since I suffer a curse, wherein whenever I go to edit something to cut wordage, I end up adding rather than subtracting.

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