I’m done. No, for real this time.
Obviously I’m not done done. It’s a book. It’s never truly done until it goes to printing. But as for the story having a beginning, end and everything that goes in between…my book is done. I was so determined to finish it by this past Monday but I was just stuck at the transition to the last scene. Sometimes my imagination gets ahead of the rational part of my brain and although this is fantasy, it needs to at least make sense within the world I’ve created. I can’t just make up something to fit my need of transition without threading into the story somehow. I sat on the phone and talked it out with my mom who is extremely rational and logical until I had something I could work with, and between last night and tonight I finished it.
I sent it back to my mom again before I have someone else read it. There are notes I have written down of things I need to remember to insert or see if I need to insert them or not. I forgot being raised religious the stories from the bible aren’t second nature to most people, but I also don’t want to overkill the explanations. Then I need to polish it. Polish it real good.
And while I’m in the above process, I’m going to begin on my query letter. Oh, I’m so scared. An actor friend argued with me that getting a literary agent is like getting a talent agent.
I just spent close to a year writing one book and now someone needs to like THIS ONE BOOK. A talent agent needs to like you as a person and your potential to act in any number of jobs that come across the table in the future. No one, unless they are already known (think celebrity, tv personality, business personality), gets signed to a literary agency without a book. A finished book.
What is this query letter I keep rambling on about? I don’t even want to explain. You can read more here.
Back to my hermit cave.
I found my writing mojo!
All of the writer’s block I have has dissolved. Seriously. It started last week when this one freaking scene, not the ending, this one scene in the middle of the freaking BOOK finally came to me. I started writing and by 3am I not only had 2,000+ words down, I had an entire amazing plot hole filled. It wasn’t even a hole…that part of the plot didn’t even freaking exist until I was writing the scene. It was like, ta-da! That meant though, that I had to read the rest of the book and fix the plot where necessary. It wasn’t a huge change when it came down to it, but it required some edits. Then I figured out yet another transition I was missing. Ding ding ding! And the end, oh the end scene! It’s almost done! Legit almost done. I wrote quite a bit of it, but I need to let it settle and fester and make sure I like it tomorrow.
I had decided I was going to make the draft 65,000 words because agents and publishers don’t like reading long manuscripts from first time authors. Yeah…oops.
*Twiddles thumbs* I’m trying to tell myself how long other YA books like Mortal Instruments and Divergent are, and that it’s not as long as though. It’s only about 320 pages. Sounds ridiculous to think it is 320 pages when sometimes I thought it wouldn’t move passed 200.
So it’s now bedtime. It’s a quarter to one and I have about three or four horses to ride tomorrow and then I plan on being a hermit and FINISHING THIS DAMN BOOK. SERIOUSLY. By Sunday night this book will be DONE. I will send it back to my mom (and now my dad wants to read it) and perhaps a book loving friend and then begin my query letters!
I will be a published author. I will be a publisher author. I will be a publisher author.
So I gave my nearly-complete first draft to my mom and her boyfriend to read. Rob’s opinion was actually super important because my book is about angels and demons, so a lot of religious backstories come into play. (Don’t worry, it’s still very much a fantasy novel.) I grew up with religion, as did my mom, so there were mentions in the book that came second nature to me and her, but Rob (who is Jewish, though non-practicing) could stop and say this needs to be explained for the rest of the masses. So my mom wrote everything down and is going to send it to me hopefully soon. There’s one transitional piece I need to write, which I’ve literally been stuck on for MONTHS AND MONTHS. I also didn’t give her the end, because it’s not as finished as I want it to be. Mainly this was for her and Rob to tell me either, Dude, get another hobby or Way to go, kiddo! Fortunately, it was very positive feedback. Rob, who used to be a producer, even said he could see it as a movie. I couldn’t write a screenplay for the life of me, so that will just have to wait.
Now, I know people are thinking, “Well, it’s your mom, obviously she’s not going to tell you it sucks.” Oh, you don’t know my mother. I wrote a book before this — a long Dystopian YA novel I wasn’t even finished with – and she pretty much told me that one wasn’t going to cut it. Yes, I have a 100,000 words of The Book Than Shall Never Be just chilling on my harddrive. But I like her this way, because lying to your kids just so their feelings don’t get hurt is just not good past a certain point.
Now I’m back to writing those two itty bitty pieces that just don’t seem to want to be written down.
It’s not really writer’s block. I’m still writing, it’s just slow. The first 45,000 words came so easily. Yes, 45,000 words. It still seems pretty ridiculous to me too. I’m at just over 48,000 and it’s just going at a snail’s pace.
I’d like to add I haven’t read it. Every time I sit down to write I read the scene immediately before it and that’s it. I have not read page one since I wrote it. The goal is 60,000 words, which won’t seem so daunting once I hit 50,000. Depending where the story is I may go to 55,000, which is nothing compared to what some of the other books out there are, but I figure its easier to add on things (which I already have ideas to do) than to have to take them out. [To compare, Twilight was over 100,000 words and HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone was about 80,000] The thing is when I was researching getting published, everything I read said it’s hard to get an agent to read an extremely long story, especially a YA fantasy book which has become such a popular genre. So I’ll go to agents with a shorter story, in hopes to get picked up and them say ADD MORE!
My goal is to be done with the first draft and go through and reread it by the holidays. Then my mom gets to read it. Then I start writing more content and look for an agent. Let’s get there!