To keep the odd theme of writing this on some kind of holiday, I should have started it on April 1. I didn't, so the continuing coincidence is kaput.
For those of you interested in writing, I must recommend again Anne R. Allen's blog. I contacted Anne years ago with a question and she was able to answer it with the best possible knowledge—her personal experience. As she and her co-blogger Ruth Harris say, they've made the mistakes so we don't have to. Here's the link to the post that I'll reference in this post.: http://annerallen.com/2018/03/word-count-guidelines-by-genre/
If you go to the bottom of the page, you can subscribe.
Notice the title: word count guidelines by genre.
This knowledge is exceptionally valuable. Readers, and therefore publishers, are moving their preferences to shorter books. I had no idea how much the word counts had changed.
My paranormal romance/thriller, Saving Atlantis, was over 106,000 words. The preference now is 90,000 words, max. This may be at least part of why all literary agents have declined to see more of the manuscript than what I send them in the query letter.
I (and virtually every other writer) wish that agents and editors would give us a reason for the rejections. That fact is itself the reason. If they gave that courtesy to even one writer they know that the word would spread and soon every inquiring writer would expect some kind of specific feedback.
Agents and editors are just too busy to do that, with a few exceptions. One exception that I've mentioned before is Page and Spine: pagespineficshowcase.com They still provide feedback even for rejected submissions.
So I'm trying to trim a whole bunch from the novel. I'm a little over half-way through the trimming and I've managed to cut almost half of the required amount.
It's a pain. The easy part is cutting out a few minor subplots. What's harder is eliminating a paragraph here, half a page there, while keeping the writing and story flow honest and interesting. There is no way I'll cut 16,000 words on the first time through. I'll have to go through it at least three times, and maybe five or six. That's not only to make the cuts, but also to make sure the story still reads as well as it did before the hatchet job.
Robert Heinlein noted that after he completed his Hugo Award winning Stranger in a Strange Land, the finished product was three times longer than it should have been, and that cutting it took longer than writing it.
I don't expect the editing of Saving Atlantis to take that long, but I'm prepared to take as long as necessary.
I'm also working on a short story. My fantasy novel, the first in the Lying Swords series, is having to take a back seat for now.
Just Lucky, Book 2: Love and Hate should be available by the end of the month. We're just trying to get the cover right.
How about you? Any questions, comments, or complaints?
Thanks, and be sure to read something you're interested in every day.