I'm almost through with the first round of revisions of my MG novel. It's amazing how the manuscript can provoke such extreme emotions from me as I read.
This is so cool! I wrote that?!! (grin, giggle, pat self on back)
What a load of garbage, bunk, drivel... and other words I may think but not write because I know my mother reads my blog.
And so I edit. I edit out the hundreds of "as she" that connect the dialog tags to a subsequent action. I delete unnecessary words that seem to creep into the manuscript uninvited. Words like "just" and "really." I send a long raspberry to the multitude of adverbs and redundant adjectives now missing from my chapters. I look at the new word count, and I'm amazed to see I've cut nearly 3000 words.
My husband says, "Be careful, you'll edit the life right out of it."
A whole new set of worries begin to form in my head. What if he's right? What if it was better before I tampered with it? What if I'm delusional to believe I could possibly write anything worthy of publication? "What if" land is rarely a good place to go.
I realize that I'm too close to my project to see it objectively, so along the way I've enlisted the help of two, trusted critique partners. One who critiqued each chapter as it was finished (thanks KW!), and one who is looking at the whole novel before I send it out (thanks DR!). The goal is to begin submitting this month (ooh, were those butterflies?).
I have to admit, I'm excited - but not stupid. I know the odds are tremendous against publication. I surf the forums and read the hopeful and sometimes frustrated posts of those in the trenches. I'm joining them soon, but my hope is I won't be there long. I delight in the "Good News" posts at Verla Kay. Maybe someday I can post there too!