First, I am not crazy. Well, not that way.
I've finished four manuscripts; all have finaled or won in several contests. I've sent out a dozen queries, maybe more, thanks to Laura Drake. The two books I thought were most salable, have been requested and sent to a handful of agents and editors in New York.
In June, I woke up one morning and asked, "What are you waiting for?" Just like that, I boarded the self-publishing train, taking the first steps necessary to set myself up for success.
I began cutting words from the book I was sending to Tiffany, due August 1, leisurely cutting and working a couple of hours a day. When Laura came home with me from RWA San Diego, I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I'd get through the manuscript in time. Here's what has turned out to be the most important step for me.
I had to get through twenty pages every day to finish. Luckily, I was only cleaning up verbiage and cutting words (I had nine thousand words to cut!), so I knew I could do it. There were nights I didn't finish until midnight. Sometimes it was two a.m. But I knew if I didn't finish "my allotment," I would have even more to do the next day, and that might roll over, too. Then I'd have this huge word boulder chasing me down revision mountain. It only took two consecutive two a.m. mornings to get me to start working throughout the day.
Here's the part where you can nod and say, yep, Fae's a little crazy. During the word-cutting revisions for Keeping Athena, I decided I wanted to do the same thing for PRISM, my YA that was promised to a publisher on, you guessed it, August 1. I recalculated my page count for six less days (now I had to finish twenty-seven pages a day), and finished Keeping Athena a week early. I took a day off. I figured out that I needed to go through seventy-six (!) pages a day to meet my goal for PRISM. Luckily, it was the last book I've finished, so it was in better initial shape. And I had a routine down. All I had to do was cut words to streamline it. Since I had no goal for the number of words to cut, it went faster. Five-and-a-half days later, I sent it to the publisher.
Here's what I learned:
Tomorrow I'm starting my first round of edits to the sequel of Keeping Athena. I have three weeks while Tiffany does a second pass through Keeping Athena. Why not get the next book in shape to send her? A secret—yesterday I took the day off from writing. I didn't know what to do with myself; the day was so long. I pulled out the chapter print outs for the next book and put them in order. This one's going to be a lot tougher than the first two. I haven't looked at it for six years, and I'm swapping out the son of the couple in Keeping Athena for Athena's brother, so there will be some re-writing. Bonus: When doing the editorial revisions that Tiffany returned, I got a slam-bang idea for the third book in the series. When I get through all these revisions, I can't wait to start it!
Next month I'll share the writing and editing tips I learned from the first round of editorial revisions Tiffany suggested.
Do you have tips to share about getting ready for a revision marathon? What works best for you?
Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes that she can live anywhere but the present. As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.
Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of calculus lessons gone wrong. She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight and pay bills.
A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now shares her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told. Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.
Photo credits: Pixabay
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