This may be blasphemous in some circles, but I'm realizing I'm not a huge Neil Gaiman fan. I keep buying his books and I keep feeling blah about them. Unless he's teamed up with Terry Pratchett (Good Omens was awesome) I'm just not that into him.
Cutting this massive book into a smaller book is harder than I thought. I don't have a definitive finale. The finale I had for the larger edition is massive and epic and all that happy crappy, but not this one. I can't figure out where to end it. I don't want it to end with a whimper instead of a bang. :/
Now that I've decided to chop up the first book into two (or three, though most likely two) entities, a great burden has been lifted. I've been editing pretty steadily for long stretches at a time and have gotten through 141 pages (out of 262 according to Word.) I'm in the worst part, however. This is the section written during NaNoWriMo two years ago and so it is very rough and needs a ton more work than the first bit.
But progress is being made and that makes me a very happy gal. :)
On the tail of talking here about word limits, the hubs and I did a word count on the first section of the book (the first third) and it's 101,711 words. The FIRST SECTION. That means the whole thing is roughly 300,000 words and even I'm not stupid enough to think that with some prudent trimming I could slap that doorstop on an agent's desk and hope for miracles.
Now I'm presented with a whole different dilemma/opportunity: maybe the first BOOK of the series is done. Maybe I need to tweak that first section (and chop it down) so that I have a whole book. And make the other two sections their own books. It could work. It would take some rearranging and adding of scenes to make a solid beginning, middle, and end (but it sort of already has its own finale), but it just might work.
That means instead of one behemoth book that is STILL unfinished, I have a solid rough draft of a COMPLETED book, and two more almost already DONE. That would make the entire book series itself something long and crazy a la Robert Jordan, but hey...I can think of worse things to be doing with my time.
I hit a snag while editing/re-writing a major chapter in that I realized one of the characters was all over the place. I went back and read three other chapters in which she's featured heavily and noticed major character inconsistencies in each chapter. This is no bueno. And it's messing up my current chapter because in order to forward the plot, she has to act a certain way. Which either means I have to rework her character (which I kind of don't want to do) or rework the circumstances of the plot. And that's a LOAD of work.
I know this tightening is vital but I really thought I'd laid out this character's arc. Instead, she's peaking too soon and having revelations about herself that need to come a lot later. I'm lazy about going back in and making all these changes. Arrgh.
Also, what do you think the maximum manuscript length is? LOL, I'm sure I'm about 50,000 words over the absolute limit, but I need a word limit goal. Anyone know?
Wonder of wonders, I finished edits to a short chap and got through part of a longer one. This means that I am almost halfway done with Book One of the First Book (Dragonwall) The whole series is three books or more but I've broken up the first book into three separate books, each with a ridiculously large number of chapters in them. (Yes, some major snipping is in order.)
To give an idea, Dragonwall breaks down like this: Book One has 18 chapters, all of which I have edited. Book Two has 31 chapters (yes, waaay too much) of which I am working on edits to chapter 13 Book Three has 22 chapters and I haven't touched any of them as far as edits.
I know this is a gargatuan amount of words for a book and hardly viable to market, but the series itself is huge. I can probably break it up into five books or more, if necessary. But mostly, I just have to snip. Once I'm through the primary edits, I'm going to do a print and read, and start evaluating what chaps are unnecessary, which can be consolidated, etc.
But for now, I'm just happy I've had the energy this morning (and the gumption) to work on it at all.