Saturday, December 23, 2006

Over the Peak and Down the Other Side

I crashed through the 60,000 word barrier on my manuscript the other night. So I'm officially halfway done. No, I'm not under any crazy illusions that I'll submit a 120,000 word novel. But I'd like to have room to cut some fat. Fat adds flavor, but only if you don't recognize it as fat.

A good novel is like a good sauce: You give yourself plenty of time to reduce it to its most important elements. It gets better as it gets smaller.

My agents will receive a manuscript of between 90,000 and 100,000 words, so my goal is to get as far past 100,000 words as possible with this draft. I want the luxury of being able to hack away at this story, rather than the panic I'll feel if I have to go back and inject scenes.

The feedback to date has been universally positive, and I think I'll be done with this sometime in February, a little slower than I'd have liked, but it's good to be able to see the finish line.

I'm off next week and who knows whether I'll be blogging. So if I don't see any of you before then, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Writing.


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