Monday, August 29, 2011

The Journey Begins

One of the main reasons I started this blog was for it to serve as a platform for my writing, specifically for the writing on which I am currently working. Loyal readers of this blog will be able to follow the progress of that writing project as it continues towards publication, because that is the ultimate goal.
At this stage I can share that I have completed the manuscript of my novel, and I am now hard at work editing and revising it, preparing it for the submission process ahead. The novel is a work of fiction, sort of a cultural thriller set in modern day Bulgaria. More details about this story will be revealed over the course of time.

One of the first things I learned while researching into requirements for debut novels was the acceptable word count. I discovered that literary agents and publishers alike were unwilling to consider fiction that ran longer than what was acceptable, and that a novel in my genre should run between 100,000 to 110,000 words.
When I finished the first draft of the book, the word count I had reached was 139,000. I set the immediate goal of my revision work as being shortening the manuscript to the acceptable length. This required killing off many of the subplots (but luckily none of the characters). By shortening the manuscript I also achieved something else - I made the novel more suspenseful. The original version meandered about a bit too slowly, but the revision pushes things along at a better pace.
My manuscript now runs at a length that could be submitted. This doesn’t mean that I have finished editing the book. There is much work ahead and each day the novel gets better, and I get closer to my goal. The process seems endless, yet soon the end will be in sight.
I hope you will enjoy sharing my journey as I follow my path to publication. I will post my successes and failures in this enormous task, list the things I have learned along the way, and hopefully I will soon be able to celebrate here on the day when this dream becomes a reality.


  1. Hi Ellis! Welcome to Blogger and the blogosphere. If you look around, you will find many writers here who will teach you many things about the current publishing market.

    I, too, have written a thriller and have learned that we are quite the minority here. Most writers in these parts write for YA. But there is still a lot to learn and experience here. One thing I would say is that you, as an unpublished author, should try to keep your book between 80,000 and 100,000 words, 90,000 being the "sweet spot."

    Subscribe to literary agent, Rachelle Gardner's blog and read every post she's ever written, as well as Nathan Bransford's, though he is no longer a lit agent. He has a plethora of advice and info going back years.

    Then, in your spare time, troll the writer blogs around here and post comments and follow them. You will gain readership and followers this way. Good luck!

  2. I had to cut many subplots when I shortened my books. It hurt but I think you are right in that it makes the work more suspenseful! Good luck. I look forward to hearing more!

  3. Thanks for your comments and suggestions! I will certainly take them into consideration as I continue the massive task of editing the novel.