Here we go

I’ve finished the write-in for The Ruby Key. I have no idea how many words I added. They’re all handwritten on ratty-edged notebook paper, with page numbering that goes 16-A, 16-B, 16-C, etc. I know I added a lot of scenes. More than a dozen. I know I added a lot of words. But how many? No clue.

So now it’s time for the type-in, and I have two days, as much of forty-eight hours as I can drag out of my body, in which to finish this thing. I’m sick–got sick yesterday. Sore throat, body and head aches, bit of a fever, congestion, general overall crud. You know the gig. Everyone gets it, and especially, everyone gets it right at the finale of the biggest deadline of their career. You shut up, you work through. (Well, if you have a weblog, you make sure to mention how crappy you feel so that everyone can duly comment on how brave and tenacious you are for soldiering on, but we’re going to pretend we don’t know about that whole blog-pity-party thing.)

Type-in is not simply correcting errors and typing in the new words as written. Not for novelists, who know this is the last true shot we’re ever going to have to get this puppy right, to make it sing, to rip your hearts out when you read it. The copyedit remains, but there you have damned little time, and not much elbow room. The copyedit is the place to be precise, not to get all happy and add tons of new material, introducing errors left and right. Little changes can go there. Anything big, well… this is it.

So. I have the WIP meter open, and I’ll type in my wordcounts as I go, and edit and add as necessary while I type, and we can all be surprised together by whatever the final number is. Whatever it is, it’ll be longer. Significantly longer. In the entire book, I deleted about three pages (600 words or so) of existing material. The meter starts at 0 (amount of type-in completed) over 60,000 (the length of the manuscript pre-edit).

Thank you for your encouragement, your enthusiasm, and for checking in to tell me you’re waiting to read this one.

Here we go.

image_pdfDownload as PDFimage_printPrint Page

About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

13 comments… add one
  • Jess Jul 23, 2007 @ 8:18

    I’m going to be unsympathetic one and say, oh my gosh! two more days and it’s done! that means we’re that much closer to being able to -read- this thing! Pardon me if I don’t pity your sickness, I want the dang book. 😀

    (I do hope you feel better. Two days from now, go to bed and don’t come out for a while.)

  • Bettye Jul 23, 2007 @ 7:57

    Sorry about the crud attack. I’m convinced it lurks in the shadows waiting for the moment we can least afford to have it.
    Sending lots of hot cyber tea, hugs and blessings.

  • lizb Jul 23, 2007 @ 7:53

    Go for it! C’mon, shape up! No pain — no gain! Get your sorry rear-end in gear and your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel( ever tried working in that position? No, I thought not.) Sending a little tough love to keep you focused.

    You know you can do it, we know you can do it. And we’re all aching to see the end result. So. Lots of luck, a swift hug and now get back to work!

  • Inkblot Jul 22, 2007 @ 20:34

    Poor Holly 🙁

    *sends hugs and well wishes and mugs of hot tea…*

    Just think, only a few more days to go! (Heh, not sure if that’s comforting or scary :D)

    But regardless, you can do it!

  • anders Jul 22, 2007 @ 17:36

    I wish type-in were my last chance. I tried, I really did. I put my whole heart into that first revision. But at the end, I sent it to a beta, and the number of typos was staggering enough that I did another full pass, and it was necessary. And am now doing a truly final pass (confirmed to be final, because I tried layering a further pass upon the first chapter, and the changes I made were negligible).

  • WritingAngel Jul 22, 2007 @ 17:19

    {{hugs}}

    *shakes pompoms* Go Holly, Go! *jumps around*

  • Chassit Jul 22, 2007 @ 17:00

    Hope you feel better, Holly! Can’t wait to read it when it’s done.

  • Gabriele Jul 22, 2007 @ 15:37

    Geesh, have they ever counted how many readers want BIG books?

    *sends Holly some virtual Meditonsin against the cold or whatever is trying to mess with your body*

    Ian, I have the same problem. No chance my NiPs will clock in at 120K.

  • IanT Jul 22, 2007 @ 14:24

    That’s a great shame. Oh well, it’ll be good discipline! Thanks very much.

  • hollylisle Jul 22, 2007 @ 14:05

    S’okay. Used to be that fantasy publishers were open in general to longer books. With a few exceptions, that seems to be changing. 100K-120K is now about right for fantasy, too. Sadly.

    Though it does depend on the publisher.

  • IanT Jul 22, 2007 @ 13:11

    *sigh* I’ve just realised how terribly predictable that question was, and that you’ve almost certainly heard it a million times. Apologies!

    Ian

  • IanT Jul 22, 2007 @ 13:08

    Quick question – and one which I’ve found it difficult to track down an answer to…

    The ‘usual’ publishable novel wordcount appears to be somewhere between 100-120k. Do you happen to know (off the top of your head) whether this also applies to the fantasy/sci-fi genre? It’s just that, in general, F&SF books look a lot thicker than the average novel. 🙂

    Or am I in a ‘it depends on the publisher’ situation here?

    (Yours desperately trying to get the wordcount down without losing important subplots, Ian 🙂 )

  • LadyQ Jul 22, 2007 @ 12:38

    Good luck!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.