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.

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