OK. Book sales and good reviews are rewarding. But, as for me, the most exciting part of the novel writing process is the finish line.
What I mean by the finish line is what happens beginning at about 70,00 to 75,000 words. That’s when the story that has been bouncing around in my brain for months is ramping up to a (hopefully exciting) climax.
My goal = 100,000 words. Then comes whittling, most commonly known as editing. Borrowed the term from my grandfather. Cut the unnecessary. Strengthen the plot. Enrich the characters. Perfect the grammar. After all the judicious editing, the finished manuscript is reduced to near 90,000.
In a previous article, I referred to the writing process as sculpting. Then comes whittling. Does that mean the publishing process should then be called shellacking? Maybe not. That’s also a term associated with bad reviews.
Back to that sculpting analogy. I have reached that point where the glob of clay looks like the vision as it appeared in my mind back in February. Started with one simple statement, “Molly is running.” Slept on it. Woke up the next morning and hammered out an outline and a controlling synopsis.
Here, by the way, is the controlling statement for Alexandra’s Song:
Molly Sanders is running from her destiny and her guardian angel.
This is the synopsis for Alexandra’s Song:
Molly Sanders is running from her painful past and takes refuge in the small town of Divinity Falls, PA where she lands a job at Angels Diner, reluctantly falls in love with Casper Knight, and encounters a mysterious woman, Angel Lopez, who claims to be her guardian angel. Molly is presented with an opportunity that will lead to the fulfillment of her lifelong dream. Her decision brings the wrath of the angels of darkness, an unwanted encounter with the man she despises, and an outcome she could have never imagined.
Then, on February 15, I began the most painful segment of the writing process. The beginning. Write. Rewrite. Start over. And then finally, off and running. Oh, yeah. Somewhere around the middle of the book, I go back to the beginning, rip it apart, and rewrite.
I used the word painful to describe the beginning of a manuscript. Kind of like a bee sting. Just enough pain to know it’s there. Not enough to keep me from loving the act of writing.
Three months into my journey has taken me to places I’ve never been. A vacation that hasn’t cost a penny. Philadelphia. Pittsburg. The mythical communities of Divinity Falls and Upton, PA. I will spend the next two weeks in New York City where Alexandra’s Song will conclude.
Got to close for now and get back to my story. After all, I’m at the most exciting part. Can’t wait for you to read it. Alexandra’s Song. The first book from what will be the Angels Diner series. Available on May 29.