Let's face it. Finishing and editing a novel is like birthing a baby. We nurture the process and can't wait to get to the end. It usually takes at least a year and we know the stats like we did when we gave birth to our first, precious child. Date, time, weight, and height. Except in the case of a novel, the stats are slightly different.
A few days ago, I finished editing (for real this time after the fourth or eighth pass) my women's fiction, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS. Here are my stats:
Yep. It's long but women's fiction ranges between 80-100,000 words. Once an editor gets hold of it, I'm sure the word count will go up or down again. It has been edited several times and I sought professional advice from a former women's fiction editor from St. Martin's Press.
During her overall evaulation, she gave me great feedback like make the cop more likeable, take out some of the "S" names (I had four--Suzy, Sylvia, Sara and Sean that I hadn't even noticed because two of these come into play late in the novel) and get rid of some red herrings. She suggested a couple of other things that I didn't do--like delete a tragic scene and start on chapter 4 where she thought my writing got stronger. If I don't get picked up this go around, I think I'll listen to those suggestions.
Finally, though, this editor said three things that thrilled me. She said I was an excellent storyteller, a strong writer and she hoped my manuscript didn't get lost in a slush pile. Let's hope it doesn't.
What are your stats?
Great feedback! And you're right--I know the stats for my novel. Current word count, projected final word count, the number of chapters, the length of each chapter . . . .ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sharon. I can't say I know the projected word count because it went up and down like crazy from 98k down to 72k and back up again. Most of my chapters are short (because I prefer reading like that, plus I think it helps with pacing) but they vary some.ReplyDelete
So glad you FINISHED editing that book. I know that was hard for you since you're a constant EDITOR!! We probably all are, but now you can go on to the next story. Great job, Beth.ReplyDelete
Lol. I knew you'd be pleased, Shirley. You told me I should have been "finished" editing, oh, probably a year ago. ;)Delete
I find editing about as thrilling as changing Depends on an old man with dementia. In both cases, you need a breath of fresh air when you finish the job.ReplyDelete
Ooh. I'll take editing over that option any day, Russell. But I'm not crazy about editing either.Delete