Thursday, January 31, 2013

Update on the Book

I spent about a year and a half writing the 80,000-word first draft of my novel, and another year revising.  The fact that I've had a full time job the past year helps me feel better about how long this is taking.  I know it's stronger for the changes I'm making, and I'm glad I didn't rush to send it out, eager for "professional" feedback (that feedback would have come as a series of form rejections!)

I've revised and edited about 54,000 of the 80,000 words.  So I'm more than halfway there.  Unfortunately, the second half of the book was the weaker half.  It's going to take more than minor tweaking to get it into the shape I want it.  But it should be easier to fix than it was to write it in the first place...

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had read Ayana Mathis' "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" -- it's a great book, each chapter telling the story of one of Hattie's twelve children, and it stands out to me primarily because of the writing.  Good plots and good characterization, but GREAT writing.  After I read that, I decided to do something completely different. I'm finally reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" books.  I read the first one in just a few days, and I'm a third of the way through the second one after just starting it yesterday.  My fiancĂ© can't believe I'm reading it so quickly, but I tried to explain that when plot is the best thing in a book, it's easy to skim over large portions of paragraphs.  It isn't that I'm not reading everything, it's that I'm not reading everything very closely.   But these popular books remind me that, at least when I'm just trying to move the story forward, I can use plain language.  I can be straightforward.  Sometimes it's nice for the reader to just be able to relax and read quickly and not feel like she has to examine each sentence.


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