Kindred underwent another edit this past week, and it’s now back in my agent’s hands. I got the word count down to 128,000. May seem long still, but not to me. It’s positively petite. Dainty even. But my perspective’s admittedly a little skewed on this subject.
I’m currently listening to an audio book, and the length of the book is at least 300,000 words (probably more). How I love the tapestry of action, dialogue, setting, description, rich and lyrical language (and the light… oh, the descriptions of what the light is doing in so many scenes!), and the freedom this author has to linger over a conversation between characters that isn’t absolutely vital to the plot, but is a study in character and enriches the whole.
I know. More pages make the book more expensive, but this author is one of the few I will shell out as much as they want to charge me for a first edition hardback of her series, the day it is released (which only happens every three years or so). I know I’m getting my money’s worth, and then some. I know her book will be so multi-layered I can read it over and over again (or listen to it) and pick up things I missed the first time through. I want to revel in that world, live there with those characters as long as I can. When I’m not reading her books I remember them like I remember the places I’ve lived, the people I’ve known.
I’m sure we all have those books or series that appeal like that. For me, it’s the Big Fat Historicals, for the most part, that I come back to again and again. Not sure why I’m going on about BFHs that are written over a span of years. Just me geeking out, I guess. They’re a passion of mine. I could wish there were more of them.
Transition back to that edit.
So, I finished this edit, shaving another 8000 words off this manuscript that once qualified as a Big Fat Historical, by lunch time. Then I took the rest of the day to get caught up on things like buying groceries, vacuuming the carpets (Ugh. I don’t think I’ve ever let them go a week like that before. With a big hairy walking carpet of a dog in the house… let’s just say it wasn’t pretty), saw a movie, wrote some emails, made a nice dinner for me and Husband that wasn’t thrown together at the last minute. Regular old, boring, precious life.
Tomorrow is Saturday, but I miss my Willa characters so much I’m going to spend a few hours getting back into their story while Husband spends the morning with his Scout troop. It’s only been a week, maybe ten days, but it feels like months since I left Willa and a little girl racing down a wagon track, smelling smoke where there shouldn’t be any smoke. Time to dive back into that action!
Highs and lows, plunging uncertainties and soaring confidences, difficult edits and all, I love being a writer.
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