Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Get the Scissors Out, Baby!

Or, more to the point, I need to get ready to hit the delete key on the laptop a lot.

My novel is finished. Now, I know that it is edit and revision time. That is an absolute must to polish my work before submitting it to an agent for consideration. But, before I started it in earnest, I decided I better review the resource books I have collected over the years to refresh my memory about what is good editing, how to find an agent, how to write a query letter and well-crafted synopsis, etc. I even went to the magazine rack in my local book store and purchased a Writer's Digest guide for getting an agent.

(There was an effective piece of marketing. If the pages in this 128 page "magazine" which was printed on newsprint paper were reformatted to book-sized pages, it would have been a nice 300-350 page paperback book. The topic is geared to a limited audience. As a book, it would have been buried away where many would not find it unless they were deliberately shopping for one on the subject. Because most books of this nature are expensive hardbacks which many of us cannot afford to indulge in too often, it never would have reached a large segment of its intended audience. Instead, although priced like a paperback book, for several months it is prominently displayed on the rack with magazines of like topics. It is easy to spot by the magazine-budget crowd.)

But, I digress. One important piece of information this "magazine" provided me was the industry standard of word counts publishers, and therefore agents, look for in the different genres of fiction. The UPPER limit for my genre is 125,000 words per novel. 100,000-110,000 is better.

Right now, Aurora Rescue is 148,004 words.

Get the scissors out, baby! Cut! Cut! Cut! Hit that delete key like there is no tomorrow. Get that narrative and dialog trimmed up, tuned up, and reduced to a manageable size! It is going to be tough to butcher up my beautiful baby, but better that than to get the ax from agents and publishers alike based on word count alone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Wake-Up Call

As I go through my resources again on how to find an agent and get published, one reality of publishing has jumped out and caught my attention. Most publishers want to publish one book a year per author, especially if the book is part of a series.

I have five books planned. They are futuristic. Right now, they are set within a six month period in 2013. At one per year, I will be past 2013 before I can get half of them published. That is, assuming all goes well. That will not work.

So, wake-up call! I need a "Plan B".

One of the key components of the book deals with the events happening during a solar cycle high. The peak for Solar Cycle 24 is estimated to take place May 2013. Since solar cycles are, on average, about eleven and a half years apart, the earliest the next solar cycle could be expected would be 2024.

Back to the drawing board -- or the research library and Internet search engines, in this case. Time to look into what technology the ultra-techies think will be available in the next 12-15 years.

I am not looking at hard-core science fiction like traveling to other galaxies a la Star Trek. I just need to know what my cell phone and computer will look like in fourteen years.

We know things will change. I look back fourteen years, and I seem to remember bulky cell phones that were strictly phones with no Internet access, no cameras and no full-color screens. Also, a lot of people carried pagers instead of cell phones. My camera still required film. Broadband, GPS and high definition T.V. were still something in the future. And, those cream-color Windows 95 computers with the big, bulky monitors were the latest thing.

Hubby thinks I should leave it as is rather than rewrite the whole thing. However, most of the novel will not need to change. Using "ctrl-F" to find words and phrases that I need to update is a cinch.

Now that I have had my wake-up call, my bedtime reading of choice is Popular Science.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010




The end.

I finished writing my first novel, Aurora Rescue. Forget my original 350 page estimate. This baby will probably weigh in at over 400 pages. But, I finally finished it.

Now comes the hard part--the final polishing, then finding an agent who will love it as much as I do.