Sunday, May 25, 2008

Re-attachment surgery

Some while back I made a decision about Kindred that didn't make me very happy, but one I thought might be necessary in order for the book to fall anywhere remotely near an acceptable publishable length, for a CBA historical (100,000 to about 150,000 words, in case you wonder). I found an earlier workable place to end Kindred (which is gonna be a series anyway so I could get away with shuffling some of it up into the next book, right?) and lopped off the tail end... hoping (against hope) I could find enough story arcs to conclude at that point to make the book stand alone, and be a satisfying read. I didn't want to do it, but felt I should give it a try.

I tried. I've spend the past several months editing down what's left, and still have a ways to go with that, but I can tell already that cutting off the end is not gonna work. I've had two readers confirm this for me, though I knew it already. It's been one of those glaring issues that stick out like a blinking neon light, bothersome, hard to ignore, but you try hard and you might forget about it for a day or two, but it's still there, and you know it. You know it.

I'm going to have to finish this story as I originally conceived it. Yes, this decision will send the word count back into the stratosphere, but what's the point of trying to submit a manuscript that falls within a publisher's word count guidelines, but turns out to be such an unsatisfying read that the book gets thrown at walls?

So... I'm a little farther from being done with Kindred than I thought I was. I have some fresh material to write, some old scenes to edit.

And unless I sound down about it all, I'm not. I'm actually getting excited (in the way I get excited when Brian and I go to climb a mountain; oh boy... this is going to be hard... this is going to take a long time... but I'm gonna get stronger and my endurance will get a work out and we'll see cool stuff on the way; this is going to be fun!). I'm very much looking forward to writing some fresh stuff, and to revisiting some of my older, but favorite, scenes from the end of the book.

But for now I'll keep editing. Still on a line by line edit, using the notes from my beta reader extraordinaire, Lauri K. Thank you a million times over, Lauri!!!

I'll keep posting my dwindling word count until the time comes to start working on the new stuff. I'd like to get it down as low as possible, to blunt the edge of future panic attacks. :-)

Prayers appreciated... muchly.

2 comments:

  1. Keep writing, Lori! You've got what it takes. Your excerpts from Kindred are so enjoyable to read. You've really come a long way from your self-professed days of knowing little about the 18-century, etc. I don't spend much time reading blogs but do like yours immensely.

    Keep the faith! A fellow writer in Washington state,
    Laura

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  2. Laura, thank you so much for your encouraging note. It comes very timely.

    It's amazing to me that after four years working on this story I'm still figuring out character motivations, still working at getting inside the minds of these 18C characters.

    Most mornings, during my devotional time in the Word, and in prayer, I do a check on my spirit, and with His, to see if writing this novel is what He still wants me doing, and do I still have the passion for it--or am I ready to drop out of the marathon? Maybe find an easier race to run? Even this morning I felt that it's right for me to press on. Stay the course.

    And then I came here and read your note. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond. *s*

    Lori

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