On this day, in 2014, I officially began the writing of what was then called Verity’s Oath. That book steamed forward until it bulged out at 127,000 words. I restructured and cut it back eventually to 85,000 words. Now, three years later, I am starting another novel with the working title False.
Why such a long delay?
Well excuses don’ t change performance, but in this case the main reason is I used the editing process to learn more about the craft of writing. I am confident, now, that I can write a lot faster as well as do a better job in editing. I have a much better idea of what a novel should be.
So I don’t anticipate False to be another 127,000 behemoth, but more of a 70,000 word first draft.
All prepare! All aware! Run!
I’m currently sending out query letters to agents in an attempt to find representation. I had one agent say I had a “very very good query,” but rejected the novel because she changed what she was representing. Another agent also passed on it, but said it was a “cool premise.” I’m hoping to find an agent who is excited about the novel and its possibilities.
By the way, writing a query seemed much more difficult than writing the novel and almost as difficult as editing the novel. I’ve been through what seems like hundreds of versions. I wasn’t satisfied with the “very very good query” (J. Scott Savage reviewed it and thought it was too much like an synopsis), so I wrote a new one that I like much better. It struck me as odd that I had so much trouble with it because I have a background in marketing and in writing copy for hundreds of television commercials, short form promotional videos and various advertising and promotional items.
Of course I spent a lot of time on Janet Reid’s blog, queryshark.blogspot.com, reading and taking notes on what she thought made a good query. I’ve been to classes and workshops on the process. If my current query works, (agents request my manuscript, etc.), I may post it here some day. If it doesn’t work, I will write another one.
Yes, I finished the first draft of Verity’s Oath in March 2015.
So, what happened next.
Thinking. Thinking. Thinkin’.
The structural problems of the novel are so difficult. I kept coming up with solutions and then abandoning them. Wash Rinse Repeat.
I’m now closer to a solution that I like. But it has been very difficult to get to it. And I am likely to not like it either. But, like I did last November during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I will push ahead to the end.
The other thing I have done is add a lot of good texture to the novel. I’ve also been playing around on the ideas for a possible sequel.
Another thing I have done is read through the Query Shark website by agent Janet Reid. Although I am not to the querying stage yet, I am finding it very helpful in thinking clearer about story and plot. [By the way, the link takes you to the first Query Shark post. Start there and read all of them.]
All this means that the writing of a novel is much more difficult than I anticipated. The amount of craft improvement available to adopt is infinite. It is all very exciting and daunting.
In any case, I believe in the story and hope you will like it some day. I think you will. I hope you will. Please like it. 😉
My current goal is to finish the edit by the end of November. Then beta readers. Then query. Then agents. Then publishers. Then published. Excelsior!
So, for me November won’t be NaNoWriMo, but MyNoEdMo.
As long as I revealed the first words of my YA fantasy novel, Verity’s Oath, yesterday, I thought I might as well reveal the last sentence:
That now leaves 69,996 more words to write. At this rate, I should finish up in about 95 years.