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Sunday, August 7, 2011


At 46,051 words, this novel is nearing a good YA length. In the writing, I've realized how close I am to finishing the actual story! I haven't been focusing on the word count as much as finishing the story. As a result, the writing is less frantic and maybe even higher quality. I had expected my wordiness to take me up to 60K or more-- a no-no for YA novels. (Ummm... then I think of JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer and it worked for them...)

I've fought the urge to begin a full rewrite before I have the last few thousand words written. That's the thing that grinds progress to a halt. I did rewrite the eyesores called the two opening paragraphs, and Ryan says they're much better. And they don't read like Wuthering Heights. (Compliment, taken!)

But I have noticed some things about my writing and the editing process of this book versus the last:

1. The first draft is closer to what I want in a finished product, with an overall streamlined storyline that doesn't jump around as much as the last one. (The now-volume-two book has been gutted to more resemble the structure of the new book.)

2. In both books, the first-draft action scenes I write are better and take less editing than the rambling gushy stuff. Most of the latter gets cut out altogether or tightened up considerably. Considering I'm writing for boys, I guess this is good to point out.

3. It's not a heavyweight compared to the last one that WAS over 100K words. Not as daunting, much faster-paced, and I've actually got stuck reading through passages because the writing was actually engaging. 

4. Less pretentious, more straightforward writing. Not as many "darlings" to cut out later. "Writing well" is in a different league from "Writing accurately." I'll refer back to the crap novel I wrote in high school: good story, imagery and characters with potential, "accurate" writing, horrible to read. A++ grade. Flowery garbage compared to my preferences today.

5. My writing has improved, my voice is more obvious, and I don't make as many silly, time-consuming mistakes. Considering this is officially the third novel I've written (one in high school, the now-sequel to the current novel, and the current novel), I guess that should be a given. If anyone has any inkling of talent in a field they love, then they will improve with each effort. If they don't improve, they're in the wrong field. 

I'm really playing with the idea of pitching this as a novel with illustrations, but I don't know how that'll fly. At the very least, illustrations will help me to become more immersed in the world of my characters. So I'll play around with some sketches that I'll turn into finished illustrations. And also some cover art...

I expect to get the novel WRITING done very soon, since I'm writing every day instead of once a week or so. Moe says "Done is good." I agree.

Speaking of illustrations: The comic is only 10-pages-drawn and line inked, with two pages inkwashed. No lettering yet. I'm trying to get as much work as possible done before I go back to work in a couple weeks. I'll post some updates at that point.

Cuddles and hugs,


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