Updates

Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Countdown: 3: Final Edits

This month my editor has been working hard to get Perilous out by the anticipated release date of Oct. 31, 2010. She sent me the final edits with the last (hopefully) of the big changes.

Now is my turn to look over the final draft for corrections and anything else that I might find needing changing. It's an exciting time, because we are so close to publication. It's a nerve-wracking time, because if I find anything (big) that needs changing, it could delay my release date. And it's a humbling time, because in spite of all the edits we've made, my editor still found 20K to cut from my manuscript. (Not to worry. I will have a 'deleted scenes' section on my website where all my eager fans can read the adventures that didn't happen.)

With my manuscript now down to 63K, I find it is definitely in the YA genre. Here are the things that got cut:

--Repetitive information (did I really have to mention twenty times that Sara is adopted?)
--Jaci's 'snarkiness' (I kind of liked it, but we want all my readers to like her too.)
--religious references (this one deserves a whole blog post. Maybe later this week.)
--anything (anything??) that slowed down the pace (I have yet to see what that may be.)

I am excited because it looks like we kept all the characters and all the major plot points. Anything else that is gone, well, I'll cry over it and you'll never know.

My job: finish going over these final edits as quickly as possible so we can get ARCs ready!

What do you think of the length? It's not too short, is it? I don't want it to be mistaken for MG!

25 comments:

KarenG said...

Tamara, So excited for yOU!!! I see you got the blogger design buttons, I added them today as well. I love them because it makes tweeting a good post so much easier, and I'll definitely tweet this one! I think 60,000 words is ideal for a YA novel. Especially one like yours that's designed to be a fast read. To us avid readers who love words, we forget that kids will sometimes not even pick up a book if it's "too long." My kids all went through that phase until they learned to love books like candy, then a 800 page fantasy novel is just about right!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, Karen! Yeah, blogger made it easier to add some buttons and monetization and stuff, so I did it!

I'm glad to hear about the length. It's hard for me to evaluate b/c I started loving books like candy in about the fourth grade (I read Gone with the Wind in fifth grade and again in sixth). So I always assume a book has to be long! I'm glad the length will be perfect for my audience, though. I do think it will be a quick read that hopefully will reel them in for the next one!

KarenG said...

LOL Gone with the Wind in fifth grade!! I read Dickens in 9th and Les Miserables in 10th. I didn't read GWTW until college. So yeah, clearly we aren't the best judges of how long our books should be LOL. My current wip is just over 50,000 words and I'm freaking out because it's so short but editor says so what? These short novels can become huge hits because they attract the "non-readers."

Kate Larkindale said...

60K is fine for YA so I wouldn't worry about it. I'll be interested to see what got cut!

X K8

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow! You are so close now! It's unbelievable that they could cut 20K from your novel! Oh my word, that's huge. I guess that's the value of a terrific editor! Good luck with the final round of edits!

Joanne said...

Wow, it sounds like your manuscript is definitely finetuned and shining! The publisher seems very dedicated to your writing, working hand in hand with you. Best wishes with the final draft!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Here's to hoping,Karen! I want to attract all the readers!

Yeah, Kate, since you read the 90K version...Ibet the 60K will be very interesting to you!

Thanks for the best wishes, Carolina and Joanna!

M. Gray said...

Yay! You're doing great! I just Googled YA novel length and agent query says 40,000 to 60,000 words, so I think you're definitely fine.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Mary, you're the best! thanks for that!

Francine said...

Hi,

You're there, as good as, and what's a 20K cut anyway but a case of glossing the end product. It happens, some people get far worse cuts, even one author recently had her whole ms ditched yet she'd published loads of books with said publisher. So, it was case of whole re-write. That would suck for me, I'd ditch it and write another one completely.

Best of luck with release date! :)
F

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Hey Francine! Yeah, you're right, that would really suck! I'm hoping this one does so good that I can make the sequel a bit longer.

Talli Roland said...

I think the length sounds perfect for YA (but I'm not an expert). Isn't it exciting to see your MS taking shape - and now almost be done? Gosh, I can't wait for that moment!

Ann Best said...

I'm looking forward to reading your book! Perfect length for a YA. Even less would be just fine.

kbrebes said...

Tamara, I'm very excited to read your book, esp after all the talk about the tagline on AI. Can't wait! Sounds great!

melissa said...

Hi. I found your blog through the SM Blooding and Crew blog! I don't think your novel seems too short. Sometimes its nice to pick up something that isn't 500 pages long.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, guys! I'm excited the tagline sparked some interest!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Good point, Melissa! Nice to have that perspective!

Diana Mieczan said...

That sounds like a perfect plan...and so lovely that you have a support you need and they are so dedicated....Well done and all the best:)
Hope you are having a lovely weekend,sweetie

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, Diana!

RaShelle said...

Hey Tamara - You must be getting so stoked!!! I love, love your website btw. The pic of you is gorgeous.

Jen said...

Wow what a big deal!!! I think you have a great plan and a great team on your side so I'm very happy for you! As for the word count I think you are fine, from what I hear 60-80K is a good YA novel so I'd say you are sitting pretty right now!!

Congratulations on the novel, you know all of us are rooting for you!!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Thanks, RaShelle! I'm quite pleased w/ how my website turned out! (I can give you the name of the company if you're interested--great prices.)

Jen, I don't know why, but I'd rather be on the higher end of that number. But I know that's a huge investment for the publisher, especially for a first timer.

RaShelle said...

That'd be great Tamara! Thanks. =D rashelleworkmanatgmaildotcom

Christy said...

It's so fun to hear your road to publishing. I used to think that I would write a book and not have to edit it. LOL! I have since come to my senses. Though I am still on my first rough draft, I already have many ideas for draft two. Why, oh why does it take so much work to write a book? Congrats!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I don't know, Christy, but it sure does! Anyone who can spit out more than a novel a year has my complete awe!

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