One step forward, half a step back

I swear, editing this novella just might kill me. Yes, that means I’m STILL working on it. There’s light at the end of this tunnel, but I’m presently terrified it’s a train. I’m fairly sure these are rail tracks I’m walking between. I’m listening carefully for the sound of an engine. 😉

I still like the story of Through Windows and Hearts, really. It’s interesting and different. The main character, Lord Risley, is more than a little fascinating. It’s just required more work than usual to whip this one into shape. And some of that work has meant rewriting and adding. And by adding, I mean that the novella that was 17,651 words in first draft is now sitting at 27,709 words. Worse, I’m not done yet, so it’ll almost certainly grow further before I’m done. 30k wouldn’t surprise me.

In a way, this feels a bit like editing the first draft of Where The Ether Flows, Devan’s first book. The one I added 35k words to. See the parallel? Yet a lot of it’s for the same reasons. Fleshing things out, smoothing the lines of the story, the places where it twists and reverses. It’s going to be a lot better when I’m done, just as Ether Flows was, and I’m trying to keep that firmly in mind. It’s not easy.

One of the things I’m doing is breaking it into sections. I don’t really want to call them chapters, because that doesn’t feel right, but they are what they are. Originally, I was thinking 3, but it’s turned into 4. No, it’s not based on length, but rather movements in the story. It makes sense to me to break up a story of this length, unlike what I do with a short story, where it’s just one long piece. It’ll also make it easier to navigate when I eventually do an ebook of this.

Yes, as I’ve neared the end (4k left), I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with this one. There’s still more work to do, another round of revisions for me, then feedback, but planning should start early, don’t you think?  I’d like to put this out there as a novella, maybe market it at $0.99. That seems to be a nice price to me for something much longer than a short story but not a full novel. As this is a stand alone volume, it’ll be an interesting experiment for me. At the moment though, this is all speculation, as it’s too early to actually do anything in this direction. We’ll see what I think when I’m actually ready for that.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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14 Responses to One step forward, half a step back

  1. byjhmae says:

    I know how you feel. I always look at writing stories as adding layers, and those layers develop without even trying sometimes. I find my characters carry me into new territory all the time and then I have to go back and make room for them…all part of the process.

    • Julie says:

      That’s exactly it, and it doesn’t help that I always do first drafts at high speed. That leads to a lot of layering and adding in later. As long as the story’s getting better, that’s the important thing, right?

  2. quix689 says:

    I agree that $0.99 is a good price for a novella. I’ve been thinking about what to do with my novella when I finish it. I know agents aren’t at all interested, so I was thinking about possibly self-publishing it, and that seems to be the agreed-upon price for a novella. I’m interested in seeing how that works for you. 🙂 Good luck with the rest of your editing!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks! You know me, my experience with it will be up here for all to see, like everything else. 🙂

      When you get to that point with yours, let me know if you end up with questions. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but I’m happy to share what I do know.

  3. Elisa Nuckle says:

    My novella ended up being novel length, so I know how you feel. I’ve edited and rewritten the darn thing 3 times now, and it’s SO much better for it, but damn is it taking forever.

    • Julie says:

      Wow. I don’t think I’ll quite make it there. I’m now down to the last 2k and still shy of 30k, so I suspect novel length is out of range unless I want to try carrying the story past the ending I have in mind.

      Oh, and I think it always feels like the polishing process takes forever, especially when it doesn’t run as smoothly as we’d like. 😉

      • Elisa Nuckle says:

        Definitely. But in the end the stories are better, which is good. The first story in this series was a little weak because it was the first anything I ever published, and I learned a lot from it. Which is why this one is just evolving and becoming so much better. It’s fun to learn, but sometimes it takes so long, haha.

        • Julie says:

          Yeah. I think each book and each project I’ve done has been sort of a slow evolution of me as a writer. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Forward motion and learning from the mistakes we make or the things that just plain don’t work. 🙂

  4. Pete Denton says:

    Seems like a good price for the novella. And, even if you add a few thousand more words, it’s still a novella. If it trebles in size then you might need to re-classify it 🙂

  5. Pingback: “The dullard’s first choice” is outlining? | by, JH Mae

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