And down the stretch I write!

29 Nov

As I take a break from revising “Thrown” to blog, I am on page 312 of 369. The manuscript will get a bit longer, pagewise, as I haven’t made all the chapter breaks yet. I am in the homestretch, and I feel a little like Secretariat in the Belmont, because it’s been a long run, but exhilarating and fast, and I can smell the finish line. I don’t know if Secretariat smelled the finish line, but if any horse could, he could. I mean, come on, look at those nostrils.

What am I doing now? I’m cutting, mostly. I have to chop off a a little more than 1,000 more words to get to 100,000 words, which I’m sensing still might be weighty, but better than being over 100,000 words. It’s kind of fun, seeing where I can delete a word or two and make the sentence stronger, or make the scene read more smoothly. It also takes some discipline to kill off what Susan Elizabeth Phillips calls “precious darlings,” the phrases I love that are superfluous and must be sacrificed. I’m still not sure I’m ruthless enough! I made a file named “Orphanage” and that’s where they go to rest. I tell myself that I’ll use them in a future book, but really, I think I’m kidding myself and them. But we live in denial, my precious darlings and I, and happily so.

Can I gush a little? I still love my characters. I wish I could be friends with Amanda, and if Grady were a real person, I’m sorry, but I’d leave Tom for him. Ah, the beauty of fiction!

I visited the Romance Writers of America website ( today and poked around. When you send your manuscript to one of RWA’s approved agents, you can take advantage of their PRO program, which is geared to help you go from being a submitter of manuscripts to a published author. It was encouraging and fun to scan the list of agents and see what they’re looking for. Of course, I’m hoping that Gail, the first agent to get a gander at “Thrown,” will fall in love with my story and insist on representing me, so I’ll skip right over PRO and go right into PAN—Published Author Network.

My finish line is December 15th, when, come hell or high water, I send my baby manuscript out into the world. I may buy myself some real champagne that night… Or, if I stick with the Secretariat metaphor, perhaps a nice bran mash. Served in a champagne flute.

Thanks for reading!

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