That’s right, people — it’s done! Well, this draft, anyway.
As you may recall, I finished my third and final re-write of Chasing Nonconformity (the sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It) back in March. I vowed to put the manuscript aside for a month or two so that, when I returned to it down the road, I would be able to read it with fresh eyes.
And my plan worked! Sort of. You see, the first person on my “people I force to read the awful first drafts of my books” list is my mother. This is partially because I love her and value her opinion, and mostly because I know she won’t mock me behind my back for the rest of my life if I hand her a terrible manuscript. Not that others have done this, but you can never be too careful!
Anyway, she’s going on vacation starting today. So last weekend she called me and said that if I can get her my edited draft by Friday, she would print it out and bring it with her to the beach. Square deal. So I edited and edited and edited, and … voila! Edited manuscript! Woo!
I had a ton of fun re-reading it — my dear space explorers get up to a lot of shenanigans, and it was awesome to re-live them. I re-worked the first two chapters a bit, as I ran both past my critique group and got some great feedback. I’ll definitely be running future chapters past them, as who knows the craft of writing better than other writers?
The slight problem that resulted from this editing spree is that I discovered the book is approximately 125,000 words. Yikes. By comparison, Imminent Danger is only about 94,000 words — and that was after we cut it down from 110,000 words. Obviously sequels are allowed to be a bit longer than the first book, but once you get over 100,000 words, it’s getting pretty darn long for a YA book. I get the feeling I’ll be doing a lot of chopping in the next few months. Alas!
As a special teaser, here’s a screenshot of the front page of the manuscript:
So after I get the manuscript back from my mother, I’ll go through it again for another round of edits. Then I send the manuscript off to my preliminary beta reading team — a select group of people who I know will both A) provide a quick turnaround, and B) provide useful feedback. Then more edits. Then a second beta reading team … then more edits … then probably back to my mother again … then a round of copy-editing … and then done!
I’m hoping to have it done by the end of the summer, but that’s a bit unlikely, as my best friend’s wedding is coming up in August, so I’ll be somewhat occupied with that. Still, fingers crossed!
Unrelated media of the day:
Check out more awesome animal puns here: http://imgur.com/gallery/KPQaq