Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh geeez

Since I'm done with the Nook editing, I decided to take the first four chapters (including the prologue) to work with me today. These are the pages that I need to tighten up because they'll be the first ones any agent/publisher reads and should be the strongest. I started editing and BOOM... look what happens! (And this is edit number 6 or something). I'm not feeling discouraged--well, maybe a tad. I just have to wonder if it'll ever be perfect to me. At some point I'm going to have to stop picking at it and be satisfied. I refuse to believe that it might not happen. After work I went to Target to read the first paragraphs of some of the YA books on the shelf and there are a mix of openings: dramatic, action-packed, detailed. It didn't really help me very much. At any rate, I've decided that this edit I'm working on (about 50 pages away from the middle) will be the last one. I really need to start writing something else and too much editing can destroy a story. I want to pick up the speed of the first four chapters, so I may look at trimming some of it out, and I may re-post here for some feedback (if anyone's willing to give it).

All right, let me get back to entering another chapter of Nook edits. Sixteen chapters down, twenty-four to go. My page count is still under 500 pages, but it slips back up a little. So far I've cut out 2,000 words (give or take). An old tip for final drafts is to trim about 10%. That means I'll need to cut 16,000 words. I'm really note sure if that's going to be possible, but my goal is to cut the fat (and a lot of the fat may be in the beginning). We'll see. Tyra Bank's book was well over 500 pages, but then she's a celebrity and I'm sure publishing houses were willing to gamble a bit more. Has anyone read that book yet? I've got it on hold at the library--I'm curious, but my expectations are somewhat low. We'll see.


  1. The title of Tyra's book is Modelland. The main character is named Tanty de la Creme or something like that.


    No. I might one day but right now I'm just ugh. I'm also betting she used a ghost writer like snookie did. I don't remember the link anymore but the ghost writer has a blog and she posted about the book and everything.

    And keep in mind that page length is an issue the editor will deal with if once they read it and like it, they decide it'll be too long. YA readers are used to longer books now so if the story is strong enough, the editor might leave it.

    And if not, then they'll help you tighten it up as will your agent.

    And I'm done for reading the edited version and I'm sure there are others who would love too as well.

    And I think one of the downsides of being a writer is always seeing the flaws in what you've written. Even if you like it, you know you can do better, lol.

  2. LOL! The character's name made me feel the same way. I remember reading the book jacket (or online) and was like "uh, really?" I wonder if she did have a ghost writer. I read something that was like "this book took me five years to write (and conceive)" but maybe that was a ghost writer type of thing. Boooo. I wonder if Hillary Duff had a ghost writer. I'll let you know if I read it.

    You're right about the length too. I need to stop worrying about it and just put together the strongest story that I can. I've spent the last two days working on the prologue and I think it's better/tighter now. I really need to stop picking though.

    And... are you offering to read the edited version for me? I might take you up on it if you're serious.

  3. Tyra's claiming she didn't use a ghost writer and I didn't even know Hilary had a book out, lol.

    I don't know how I feel about celebrity's crossing over to 'writing'. I mean, if you have a great idea and you want to write a story, alright fine, but actually write it or at least show that you 'wrote' it with someone else. Not that hard to say that the idea was all yours and you got someone else to write it for you or something.

    And apparently Hilary Duff had someone named Elise Allen to 'assist' her with the writing so who knows.

    And yup, I'm serious about reading the edited version.

  4. I haven't read Hilary's book... I just see it all the time and wonder if it's any good. But if she had something "assist" her (aka, write the thing) then I'm not so sure I want to read it. If celebrities really want to write, they should use a pen name, and then come out and say "hey, I did that! I made it without using my celebrity status." I have a lot of respect for Joe Hill (Stephen King's son) who did that. I haven't read his books, but I still think that's pretty cool.

    I'm taking you up on your offer to read my novel when it's done (hopefully in two months or less). I'm really excited about this cause I know you'll be straight forward and honest (based on the feedback you've given me on other things). Thank you so much!

    Now if I could stop picking at the prologue and get down to editing chapters. I've already given up for the night... I blame a long day working behind my computer.

  5. Yeah, I have respect for people who are willing to try and make it without the public benefit of their name [or a parent's name]. Wanting to get acknowledgement for something you didn't do? Not cool.

    And it's not a problem, I'm excited for it. I just think you should know that it'll probably take a a month or two to get through it because i don't want to half ass it and I'm currently still in school.

    And for the rewriting constantly thing, make it that you have to go through a chapter once, and if you get an idea that would make a scene tighter from a section you've already gone over, don't go back to that section, instead write it on a sticky note and put it somewhere safe and just keep pushing through it.

    If you go to 'fix' a section and start rereading it, you'll wind up at the beginning again.