After slightly less than a year of more or less feverish writing, I sent the ms. for Book 2 off to the editor. It clocks in at just more than 102,000 words. However, I wrote about 160,000 words total. I have a discard file of ugly prose, wrong turns, bad plot twists, and horrible mistakes of about 58,000 words. I kept the file knowing I would go to it to put stuff back in, and I did. What looks like a wrong turn often is your intuition knowing better than you do what works. You just aren’t ready for it at the time, then you get to a point and you go, “oh yeah, that goes here.”
So, in less than a year, 160K words. What, am I crazy? Don’t answer that.
Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago I dropped my daughter off at college. Someone asked me if I was going to blog about the experience. I won’t, because in general I dislike blogs by women in which they reveal way too much about their kids, to their kids’ detriment. Maybe they think it’s cute to say how much they hate motherhood or they like the way it makes them sound so hip and real (unlike the rest of the world’s parents, apparently), but it’s ugly and mean. They don’t do it quite as much to kids who are teens, or at least I haven’t run across them, but no. I am not blogging about what it was like to drop off my first-born at college.
Sigh. It looks like I wrote a book about it instead. Book 2, in fact. I mean, I am sure when someone else reads Book 2 it will be about something else to them — in fact, I hope so, because that would be weird — but that’s what it ended up being about for me.
The fact is, when you send your kid off to school — or the military, I would imagine — when they come back they aren’t your child anymore. It takes a huge leap of faith and optimism to be able to let them go.
Come to think of it, that kind of goes for manuscripts being sent off to editors, too.
Go little book, go! Go daughter, go!