Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making a more 'lean' manuscript...

The words I have written and turned into Number 181 (GetItHere)are exactly what I envisioned when I started putting pen to paper. Ok, it was mostly fingers to keyboard, but there was some actually pen work, as well. As it sits now, the book is about 143,000 words, and I could care less whether it is 50,000 of 500,000. It's as long as it should be.

But, I've come to realize that most agents and publishers are extremely wary of first time novelists that come up with a manuscript that... cumbersome. Sure, Stephen King has 800 page books, but he's got a following that will forgive him some exposition if it leads to a good story. It also doesn't help that much of the first part of my book *builds* to action rather than opening the door to explosions right out of the gate. I'm extremely proud of the first few chapters, chapters that I went back and added when I felt characters needed a bit more development and history.

But, agents ask for the first chapters of a book as sample of one's work. They don't ask for the first action scene or biggest twist. So, though I am very proud of the first chapters in my book, I've made the executive decision to remove them when offering my manuscript to agents for their perusal. By my estimation, it will bring the final word count down to the 125,000 word range, a much less frightening number to agents, or so I'm told. Obviously, you should 'tighten up' your work before offering it for representation, but there is little extraneous info in Number 181. If it weren't for the 'Perception of Length' in the literary world... I wouldn't touch it.

It will have the novel starting where I initial had it placed months ago (Boom! Explosions!), and still tell the same story. But, it will lack some back story on compelling characters. Thankfully, Shawn's piece will be unaffected. And, let's be honest, he's the one that matters!

The book available at Lulu will remain unchanged as I feel it matches the vision I had for the story. But, I think it may cause difficulties going forward with representation.

Make no mistake, though, if I get an agent to bite on the abridged manuscript, I will share the fact that I have 15,000 more words of awesomeness a click away that I could throw back in to the mix!

This whole process is fascinating to me... But, I fear the day my squirrel-like attention span snaps to the forefront, and I move on to other endeavors.

_ Best Blogger Tips

No comments:

Post a Comment