Skip to main content

Editing, Editing, Editing.

I've tried to make myself scarce with good reason. I'm eyeball-deep in edits on the Adult Fantasy (aka the circus book) while my first YA manuscript is out on subs. For those who don't know, this means my agent submitted it editors at publishing houses.

This is kind of like querying an agent but more detailed and polished. You send in your pitch, full manuscript, some other information, then wait. And wait. And wait. Editors are currently reading the manuscript and will get back to us with their decision. They can reject, make an offer, ask us to revise or submit something else in the future. We won't know until it happens. That's where I am on that.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get the queer af circus book down to 130,000 words so we can make it as marketable as possible. I'm all about that marketing. (Who would've thought?) The highest word count (WC) was--and I'm not joking--153k. Right now, I'm at 133.1k. I started editing this round at 139.8k. 6.7k of trash and little paragraphs I'll use elsewhere are gone. And all of my author friends are struggling to meet WC while I'm blasting mine out of the water. Good times.

After getting the YA down to 100k from +115k in two weeks, I have a system I'd like to share. I use two tools to crack down word count. One is Excel. Creating a spreadsheet, I track the before and after of each chapter's WC to see how it changes.

I reversed it a little. The number on the left (column B) represents the after or current WC. The number on the right (column C) is the WC from before I started editing. Red means I added words. Green is neutral. Black signifies words were cut. I can look at how long each chapter is, see which chapters are the longest, where I've cut the most from, and where I can cut MORE from. Always more. But save what you've cut in a file! You never know what you can use later.

Then there's my new favorite app, WriteOMeter. It's a free app from the Android Store that feels much like the calculator used during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Sorry, I didn't find it on the Apple Store. WriteOMeter keeps track of my words, my target word count, deadline, and how much I need to write per day to get there. It even has a 25-minute writing sprint timer. Here's an example of the writing log:

So there are two of my fav tricks. Right now, I'm literally doing calculations and equations to get down to word count. If I can cut 50 words per chapter at 62 chapters...carry the 6...I got this. I got this. There's no choice BUT to make it to word count. Good luck to everyone out there who is editing! I'll be using it as a nice distraction while dozens of people read the book I poured my insecurities into. Oh, wow. Didn't think about that. *heavy breathing*


Popular posts from this blog

Nonbinary Biases

Soon, I’ll have to get a new passport. In the United States, I am not allowed to declare my nonbinary gender on legal documents, or any forms, to be honest. It’s all binary—male or female. My trans* binary friends can have their gender markers changes to reflect their correct gender, but I am not afforded this privilege. I, simply put, am not recognized.

Like so many, I am misgendered on a daily basis. I go into the streets, plastered in buttons and laced with necklaces that declare my pronouns to be they/them and my ID as genderqueer. My armor, meant to protect, fails me. The voices echo, chanting, “Ma’am,” “Miss,” “she/her,” like bells I cannot silence.

My brain screams for me to correct them. Tell them who you are. That comes at the high cost of possibly being assaulted or having to give an entire lecture on what the f— I am. A person. I want to be a person, devoid of your gender biases, your expectations wrapped up in pink and blue ribbons. I am purple, white, and green. I am a mu…

BAD BOY Revisited

Now that I'm out as a genderqueer person, I'm revisiting my review of BAD BOY by Elliot Wake to give content and trigger warnings for other folks. This is a trans book that contains detailed descriptions of what it means to transition from female to male written by someone who has undergone the process. If you aren't comfortable reading about these details, walk away. If you feel this might be too voyeuristic for you, walk away. If it will bring up to many thoughts or feelings of dysphoria, walk away. If hearing about TERFs and non-trans acceptance by family and friends is harmful to you, walk away. This book was influential in my life, but that's because I was in the right mindset to read it. I'm usually the one doing the vetting for others. I can handle a lot. I can handle dark and angry. If you can't, there's no problem in that. Take care of yourself and put this one aside.

If you have issues with any of the following, please reconsider reading this book …

Cisgaze and Nonbinary Exclusion

Yesterday, I saw a re-post of a chalkboard sign that was taken outside of a bookstore. It listed “Women + Books News,” which included a list of female authors in SFF. I was thrilled. One of my favorite authors scored a well-earned seven-figure deal with TOR. An author from my agency won her second Hugo back-to-back. But then…my heart sank and I heard that evil dysphoric voice whispering in my ear:
This will never include you. You’re non-binary trans*.
I don’t fit.
It would be easy to have lists say “Female and Non-Binary Authors.” However, the cisgaze means cis people don't think about these things. They don't think about us, the third genders. I'm not saying this solely for my comfort. More young people are identifying under the non-binary umbrella. We need to set an example for teens and young adults and provide a safe environment where they can express their gender without fear of exclusion. I personally want to set an example for my younger readers. It's a challenge t…