Thursday, October 04, 2007

One Done Book

And one author whose brain has turned to mush and is off traveling somewhere in time.

On their blogs, various agents mention that they prefer that science fiction novels submitted to them not be longer than 120,000 words. (Subtext: unless you're already well established, in which case no rules apply to you.) At one point, Time and the Soldier was over 130,000 words. That was when I started trimming, trimming, trimming the fat while also filling in the remaining gaps. I think the result was an improvement, but for all I know, it made the book too terse. In any case, the ms. as it now stands is at about 119,850 words. Under the wire!

So now it's off to three beta readers. Gary, who comments here occasionally, is reading it for continuity. Daniel will read it for continuity and military details (there aren't many, but I want them to be correct, of course), if he's able to. He'll have to choose whether working on his PhD is more important than helping out his aged dad who used to drive him all over the city so that he could see if other public library branches had books he hadn't devoured yet, but I'd never put any kind of unfair emotional pressure on him. Leonore will read it at the level of individual scenes and prose but not for plot because time-travel stories drive her nuts.

As a longterm captive, I mean inhabitant, of the software biz, I find the term "beta readers" very amusing. Just thought I'd add that.

So after I get their comments back and make any adjustments (and of course I'm hoping they will be just adjustments, not major surgery because someone discovered a monstrous plot hole), I'll have to face the really hard part: the AAAIIIIEEEE! agent search AAAAIIIIEEEE!


alternatefish said...

well hey, congrats on finishing! or at least getting to beta reader stage even if it might still need minor tweaking.

agents are scary. good luck with that.

David said...

In an ideal world, agents would sense the wonderfulness of this novel by means of vibrations in the luminiferous ether, and they'd be calling me in droves.

But I guess that's not going to happen.

Chris said...

Woohoo! Congrats, David!

David said...

Thanks, chris.

Oddly enough, when I woke up this morning, the world hadn't changed. Must mean it's time to start writing the next one. Or as Goethe might have said (and did!), "Ohne Hast, ohne Rast." "Without haste, without respite."

Daniel Dvorkin said...

Hee! No, no parental pressure, at all. :)

Seriously? I read it in about two and a half hours the night you e-mailed it to me, cover to cover. Er, pixel to pixel. Bit to bit. It's great stuff.

I did notice a couple of places where I had minor quibbles, and a typo or two; I'll go back through, find those, and send a complete list. But this was all very minor stuff. It's a great book.

David said...

Thanks, Daniel!

Did that sound like parental pressure? {assumes look of innocent surprise} Golly, I had no idea!