Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bob

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 65,000
Status: Exactly halfway through the second draft
Attitude: Antsy

Because I really, really, really, REALLY want to get Bob off to beta readers, even though I know I’m still (at least) a few weeks away. Like the first draft, this second one has been progressing more slowly than I’d like--but in the past week, week and a half, I’ve finally made some progress.

I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m a better writer now than I was when I started Bob, so I had to spend some extra time bringing those earlier chapters up to snuff. (Anyone know the origin of that cliché?) Two possible explanations for this phenomenon: First, the more you write, the better you write, so you’ll always be a better writer by the end of a manuscript than you were at the beginning. Second, anytime you take a significant break from writing (which I usually do after I finish a project, and which I especially did between Bob and SEE THE SAMELINGS, as I had a newborn in the house), it takes a while to get your voice back.

And so. The second draft has been coming slowly, but it’s gaining momentum. (Woohoo!) I’m sure you’ll be the first to know once I finally finish it:)

In other news, I’ve been playing around with pitches lately, as you can see from my sidebar. (I added a new one today, in fact!) Although I feel pretty good about writing a two- or three-paragraph pitch a la the query letter, I still find one-sentence pitches tricky. (And what is it with all these parenthetical asides…?) Awesome agent Nathan Bransford shared some fabulous tips in a recent blog post, but I’m still tinkering. And tinkering, and tinkering.

So how are your works-in-progress coming along? Slowly, quickly, wonderfully, awfully? And I’d love to hear the pitches for your latest projects. Share away!


Connie said...

I hope the editing goes well. I'm at the end of what I hope is the second to last editing pass of my current WIP.

BTW, my favorite book for helping with the last few editing passes is Don't Sabotage Your Submission.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I'm terrible at one-liners! I love yours, though. Very cool.

Oooh, Connie, I need to check out that book. That sounds great!

I don't know if this counts as a one-liner or not, but this is my new little catch-phrase for my WiP:
Coming back means giving up everything she loves. Probably too simple and generic. I guess it's less of a logline and more of one of those lines that they stick on the cover next to the title.... ha ha. See, I have it all planned out. :) Always the optimist!


Krista V. said...

Yep, I'll have to check out DON'T SABOTAGE YOUR SUBMISSION, too. Thanks, Connie!

Happy to hear you're planning your book cover, Amy. I have the same problem - I'm far too good at visualizing success:)

Rissa Watkins said...

I like yours. I am working on mine and find it a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I can't seem to get the oomph into it.

Myrna Foster said...

I noticed that yours is two sentences (love, can't wait to read, btw). I took three.

When a deadly illness strikes Jaavan's mother, Jaavan and his best friend, Lani, turn to the Ambroz's Star Swan for help, little realizing how much control the Ambroz has over his Star Swan or the control the ghosts have over him. They pay with Lani's freedom. In agreeing to protect the Ambroz, Jaavan hopes he'll persuade him to release Lani, but the ghosts have plans of their own.

Congrats on your 65K. I know what you mean about your writing getting better each time. I can see problems each time through that make me not want to show it to anyone until I have everything fixed, but what if they're never fixed? And what if I'm missing something a reader would see?

Kelly Bryson said...

Hey Krista- I haven't gotten a one liner together yet. I've tried, but haven't gotten it quite right. And I'm taking a few days off, finiching reading for betas and waiting to start on my revisions based on betas' comments. Have fun!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I have to get a one liner ready pretty quick. I just found out my book is being released in July instead of August. Yikes!

Krista V. said...

Rissa, you're right - it's the oomph that's the tough part. Very hard to give a single sentence voice (and still say something meaningful about the plot).

Myrna, intriguing. And I'm very excited to read yours, too:)

Kelly, good luck with those revisions! It must be kind of exciting, having that beta feedback just sitting there, waiting for you. I haven't been in that position (yet), but I can't wait to be there:)

Krista V. said...

Kathi, July is right around the corner! You must be totally psyched!

Anonymous said...

Up to snuff = 'he's just taken snuff and he's buzzing' = ready to rock!

Krista V. said...

Really? I was afraid of that. Now "up to snuff" has two strikes against it: It's a cliche, and it's a tobacco reference.

Thanks, Ivan.

Holly said...

Congratulations on the 65,000! That number represents so much work and commitment.

It's true that the more you write, the better a writer you become... but I have to be careful about over-polishing, too.

I "finished" my 90,000 word novel. Now I'm adding a small storyline, plus sharing the novel with a wonderful critique partner.

P.S. I love the title SEE THE SAMELINGS.

Krista V. said...

Holly! Good to hear from you! You're right, sometimes you have to be careful about over-polishing - but I fear I'm not one of those writers in danger of over-editing:)

I'm glad you found a great critique partner. And I'm definitely excited to hear about your agent hunt (especially since the query you posted over on Nathan Bransford's forums was intriguing).

Best of luck to you. And if you have a minute, scroll down and check out "The Supportive Commenter Award" post.

P.S. Thanks for your kind note about SEE THE SAMELING. Me and titles haven't been getting along so well lately, so it's nice to know I haven't completely failed:)

Holly said...

Hi, Krista:

I posted a terrible query! My story has a complicated plot and I just couldn't get it down to 250-300 words. But now I've changed the plot, and my primitive brain is starting to grasp the idea of pitches, so I hope I'll do a little better when the time comes.

I'll check out that post now.

Again, good luck with Bob!

Holly said...

Krista, you made my whole night!


Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Krista--Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

I think that the beginnings always need to be gone back over. I've noticed as I read other people's work (I'm attempting my first mg...I've only written shorter pieces until now.) that they seem to get their groove on after the first chapter. The further I've gone into manuscripts (ya & mg) the better the writing gets. My take on that is that the more your write the better you develop your characters, hence the better writing. :)

Krista V. said...

Happy to make your night, Holly:) And don't sell yourself short on that query - they can always be better than they are, but the bones of the story were there, and it sounded interesting.

Sharon, hi! And you make an excellent point - a lot of what I've been doing the past few weeks is shoring up my MC's character. But that's because I know him so much better now than I did before.

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Wow. I'm trying to finish my manuscripts. Doesn't really work.

Krista V. said...

Esther, I started writing when I was eight, but I didn't finish my first manuscript until I was twelve (although I probably started somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty or thirty novels in those four years - no exaggeration). Just pick your favorite idea and, if you really like it, stick with it. Sooner or later, you'll get it finished:)

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Thanks for the encouragement. :)
I am twelve, beginning my manuscripts. (I know I said I was 13, but that's because I read as a 13 year old, or even older.)

Krista V. said...

Esther, good luck!