Radio silence

Over the past couple weeks I’ve been knuckling down to get through my revisions.

My first step, as was suggested in 2k to 10k (and detailed in my previous post), I made a scene map. Since I already had done a time line, and kept that organization in my manuscript, it was easy enough to identify some problems.

The major issues are still with Frigg. The latter chapters just didn’t include her enough. It’s been tough figuring out what to do with her b/c she’s the “left behind” character — she’s stuck dealing with the everyday while everyone else is out doing things. For example, Vidar’s fighting in Utgard, Hyrrokin’s on the opposite side watching him. Odin’s off summoning the dead. Vafthrudnir is plotting; Loki is doing what he does best.

So, after some struggles I stumbled into a solution that ties an earlier event (Frigg arbitrating a divorce) directly to an event that interrupts her everyday, boring preparation for the Midwinter festival — which is where the major plotline, and hers, ends. I think it works well, but then I would 🙂

 

In the process of all that, I added 8K words — bringing my grand total to a whopping 183K. A standard fiction novel is ~80K; a standard fantasy is ~120K. I’m not thrilled about the word count, honestly, b/c I’m worried it’s bloated.

So this morning, rather than write a Frigg scene that I’ve outlined, I ripped apart four Vidar scenes and tweaked two Odin scenes that occur in the first 25% of the book. I streamlined them — removing excess exposition, navel gazing, redundancies and purply prose. In the process, I also fixed a couple timeline issues. Those scenes are better now and, bonus xp, after I was done, the manuscript was a cool 1500 words shorter — dropping me down to the 183K mentioned above.

So, all that’s the reason for radio silence — not enough brain cells to spare =D

One tiny step closer…

I’ve hired an editor to perform a “manuscript evaluation.” She’ll provide a written report which will critique my manuscript’s plot, character motivation, conflict, etc., narrative techniques (POV, scene structure, characterization, dialogue, etc.), and language (style, mechanics, word choice, etc.).

As a first-time novelist, I felt that this type of critique was crucial to:

  • Figuring out if my book sucks
  • Improving my craft (writing, not witch)

To be clear, I don’t think the book sucks. The beta readers would’ve told me (indirectly). But, I know it can be better. I’m just not sure where. And I don’t want to spin my wheels for a year figuring it out on my own. Hence the evaluation.

On October 31st I deliver my manuscript to my editor. So I’ve a good bit of time for another rewrite with a particular eye on character motivation and characterization/POV. If my handling of the characters suck, then no one will slog past the sample chapters.

She’ll have my manuscript for all of November. I’ll get her report back in early December. If I like what I see in that report (the good, bad and the ugly), then I’ll use her for the line edit. Which I’ll schedule quickly to make sure there’s minimal lag time between me finishing a revision based on the eval & her availability to start that line edit.

Ideally, the line edit will start by March 2017. Figure at least a month for her to finish (April 2017) then another for me to revise (May 2017). With a month’s leeway for the unexpected, I should be able to publish by June 2017.

Should being the operative word.

Of course somewhere in there I also need to: get awesome cover art, ISBNs, a proofreader, write my blurbs, etc., figure out my launch strategy (and tactics), and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. And once all that’s done?

Start back on “Book Two,” which I’ve already decided to break apart into multiple shorter novels (80-90K).

I’m pretty excited.