Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just That Billy Bob

So, this week's main task was editing.

Monday I finally reached my 65,000 word goal and could consider my current WIP 'finished' and move on to edits. Now, when I say I met my word count goal, I mean I managed by the skin of my teeth. I think the official word count at the time was 65,021. Which means there wasn't going to be a lot of wiggle room when it came to editing.

Like I predicted, once I got through eliminating the majority of the that's and just's I lost like 40 to 50 words, dropping me below the required count for a print book at my publishing house. However, once I finished the 'spot' edits, searching for specific words to either eliminate or rewrite, I was able to dig in and do a read-through edit/revision, which upped the word count to a more comfortable, room to wiggle, level. I think I ended up right around 65,500 or so.

Editing and revising is always an interesting process. With this book, I hadn't read through the entire thing along the way. I'd reread certain sections, but hadn't ever started at the beginning and read on to see how everything flowed and to make sure everything was consistent.

The funniest inconsistency became apparent right in chapter one. I hadn't read, or even skimmed, chapter one in a very long time. About a year ago I brought it into my RWA group for a critique. I read, they commented, I fixed and revised and tweaked, and that was that. In chapter one, I named the heroine's brother Billy. In subsequent chapters I've been calling him Bobby. Thus, I had to make a decision: Billy or Bobby. (I ultimately went with Bobby because it was the name I'd spent the most time with.)

After a few more tweaks, edits, revisions, additions, and polishing, I deemed the mss worthy of a query letter. Thursday morning I sent a query and synopsis to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. Now, here's what I love about my publisher. Within ten minutes she had e-mailed me back with a question. I e-mailed her back, and in less than another ten minutes, she had requested the full. (Which I attached immediately.) Later in the day she checked in to let me know she'd received my submission. In a publishing world where a wait time of months is not only common, but expected, this is one of the things I love so much about TWRP.

Of course now the waiting will start as my mss goes through the process of being considered for a contract. But I have no doubt I'll hear from my editor soon to let me know how things are going and what stage of the game we're at. So, keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck!. "This Feels Like Home" would be the third book in my trilogy, following This Time for Always and This Can't Be Love.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!