I finished my draft today. I call it a draft because it isn’t the final, but it’s not the rough. I guess you could call it the second. I still have to do a major edit on the last two chapters, and then I’ll print it off and use a pretty little colored pen.
It was 59,000 words. I wanted 70,000. So I was a little disappointed. Why did I want that much? Because The Philosopher’s Stone was 74,000. My other favorite is Of Giants and Ice. It’s over 90,000. I can easily still want 70,000 because Of Giants and Ice is too long and could have easily had 20,000 cut. Yes, ridiculous reason, I know. I think I thought that in order to be as good as them, I had to be able to write as many words as they did. Again, ridiculous. But The City of Ember was only 59,000, so maybe it’s OK. Yes, I have confidence issues.
So I know you’re asking, what does the industry want? There are several theories on that. I’ll give you several links, and then you can make up your own mind.
As you can see, I’m right on target market wise. So I should be happy. What on earth is wrong with me?
There is a big difference between upper and lower middle grade. So, if you’re doing research on words counts and such, be sure to take that into consideration. Again, mine is upper MG fantasy. And yes, there’s fantasy, non-fiction, history, sci-fi, and they all have different, although slight, expectations.
So what now? Now, I re-work the last two chapters and take a break. During said break, I will re-read the upper MG fantasy books that inspired me the most, and then I’ll go back and do a good read through. One of the reasons I’m reading them is to clear my head of the crit garbage I’ve been getting lately. It’s actually been getting worse. Sigh! This is the perfect time to take a break, because I ordered my Valentine’s/birthday present, and it will be here on Tuesday. So I should be able to get those two chapters worked tomorrow.
That being said, I feel really good about myself. I’ve worked really hard for this. Really hard. I’m a mom who homeschools, a light farmer, and a wife to a legally blind husband. I never get any time to myself, period. What time I do have to write is filled with screaming children (my son and the neighbor boy playing), or a screaming husband (online gaming). Do you have any idea how hard it is to write with gun muffs on in a room of screaming people? I do.
Sometimes I really miss being single. And then the neighbor kid goes home, and I have a screaming fit of my own until everyone shuts up long enough for me to remember what silence was and write this post.
But I love my family. I signed up for my first writers conference in April, and although I’ll be alone, I know I’ll miss them.