A few months have passed since I began meeting with my editor, Caralee Hubbell. I am so excited about the results of these meetings!
I first want to say that any of you who have graciously given of your time to read through the manuscripts are in for a surprise. A wonderful, exciting surprise. You will see how the stories have blossomed into tales that still leave me breathless, even after reading them so many times!
The first thing Caralee had me do was to smooth out the time transitions. Make the passage of seven years a smooth ride. It was a challenge but with additional narrative, I hope that you will find it a fun ride!
Character building has taken the most time as I have now added nearly fifty pages throughout the book making sure that you, the reader, know everything you needed to know about my characters. She said that the first draft was quite good, but she pointed out several traits of my imaginary friends which needed to show through into the story more.
Caralee’s favorite phrase is “Show, don’t tell.” And that is exactly what I’m doing. Going through it so that the author is becoming invisible. The reader will be centre stage right alongside the characters. Even the beginning of the book has been improved.
The first manuscript, at 82,000+ words, might be too long for a YA novel (50,000-75,000 words.) So I was told to think about where I might split it if a publisher wanted two books instead of one.
Well, if you know me, you know that I can’t resist a challenge, especially if it means letting me REWRITE REVISE REWRITE. So…working on a copy of the first manuscript, I have come up a the possible solution that works so well I have told Caralee that I’d almost rather do it as two books.
A few reasons the split would work better than keeping it as one…
* The first half is basically Ana’s story, while the second half is more Caleb’s story.
* The story line, as it stands, actually has two distinct plots, making it easy to split. The minor plot of the first half is in reality, the most important thing, answering many questions to Ana’s life and it isn’t nearly as minor as I had thought. The second plot is just as important to Caleb’s life. Two separate stories.
* The original manuscript is over ‘average’ word counts for YA, but is not double that amount. With the split, each half will be under that ‘average’ and will need to be plumped up to reach words count goals usual in YA books. I get to write more! Woo-hoo!
* If manuscript one becomes two books, I’ve actually completed FOUR manuscripts and am writing a FIFTH one! And selling one more book can’t be bad!
* I struggled with the single page synopsis for this manuscript and still have two pages. Two books means I can split the synopsis easier and might just make that goal of one page per book!
* Mostly, though, I think I’m excited about doing it as two books because I get to spend more time finding out more about Ana and Caleb!
They are really such neat people. I’ve already discovered that I knew far more about them then I thought I knew on the surface, and now, I’m getting to understand what makes them tick! For instance, I’ve found out why Ana is a loner who doesn’t date jocks, and why Caleb is an architect, with a mysterious love of ancient buildings. And of course, I’m not telling you! Not here…not now! You’ll get to discover that yourself!
I can’t wait to share these stories with you!