|This picture is very relevant to this post, I promise.|
This is it. I can feel it.
Based on the suggestions of my critique group after their full read-through, I've now finished several sweeping revisions to my current WIP. In addition, I've tightened up every single scene (and cut many others) so that I'm down over 16,000 words from my previous draft's final word count. That's right. I've hacked 16,000 words from this baby. While adding in new scenes.
That being said, it's not done yet. I'm in the midst of polishing draft 3.6 (yes, my drafts get decimal designations). I'd like to chop an additional 2,000 words still, if I can. I want to do my read-aloud. There are still line edits to do.
But I am close. After spending years developing my professional writing skills, participating in critique group discussion, and watching my partners become agented and published, I have a much better grasp on what is "query ready" than I did before. And this novel is very nearly there. It just needs one last spit 'n shine.
I can't describe how exciting it is, knowing that after fourteen months of work, within a matter of a week or two this manuscript will be in a solid enough place for agents to read.
...I'm not going to lie, this is also rather terrifying. See, I've got a bit of a scarred psyche from my first querying experience, as many authors do. After a year of many nibbles, but no bites, I had to shelve my first beloved novel at the end of 2012.
This new story, though... something in it just tells me it is the one. My first novel was well written with great characters (so several professionals told me), but it was a rookie novel. It wasn't going to work on the current market. That's a mistake I've worked tirelessly to avoid this time around.
So I'm just about ready to take the plunge yet again. If anyone reading this blog knows of any agents looking for an upper middle grade sci-fi thriller with solid science and a smart female protagonist, please let me know! I've got a running list going, and would love to add more names.
I'll end this post with my main character's instrumental theme song. Yes, I know it's a My Little Pony fan-written piano piece, but it's gorgeous and it's perfect.