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?