We are two-thirds through July, people. And I got things to say!
I have written for 40 hours in July so far.
I have completed chapter sixteen.
Mender is now 59,000 words.
Next, news from the GAH front:
I've gotten a few more rejections from agents-- I honestly don't even know how many it's up to now, which is probably a depressing sign. I did get one more personalized rejection though, which I will paste a portion of here:
Thank you for giving me a chance to carefully consider your submission. The concept greatly intrigued me and your craft is better than a lot of what I see. I really wanted to request more, but there seemed to be something missing in the plot, some threads and questions left untouched. I read your sample twice, and I'm very regretfully going to pass.
This is a subjective industry, and your book may well match the interests of another agency. Furthermore, if you do a substantial edit on the manuscript or produce a new novel in the future, please query me again! You've clearly developed your talent and the book is close to being "there."
It's Pitch Wars time again. I've had this secret scheme that I would apply with Mender, even though you're only supposed to enter with a completed MS. I hoped Murphy's Law would be on my side, and I'd get chosen, and then I'd have to do a crazy marathon to finish it, and my agent and I would laugh over it one day as we sipped champagne over my stack of Nebula awards.
So I've been haunting the site, waiting for the mentor blog hop info to come out. But then last night I was looking around on the site and clicked on a video about things you can do to get ready for Pitch Wars... and the whole first few minutes was a cogent explanation of why you really, REALLY shouldn't enter unless the book is done.
Now, I definitely fall on the Fuck the System! end of the rule-following spectrum, but if someone takes the time to thoroughly explain the reasoning behind the rule, more often than not I will see the wisdom in it. That's what happened here.
I just really wish there were two Pitch Wars a year. February would be perfect!
BUT, this is not the end of PW, because I was talking to my mom today and she said, why don't you just re-enter with The Owl Bearer? and I was like, Duh, why not? Obviously I won't apply to the same mentors as last year, and I'll tweak my submission packet, but the effort involved would be minimal, and Lord knows I'm not getting anywhere cold querying. I looked through all the mentor blogs today, and picked the four I'm applying to this year.
The State of the Novel:
I spent today getting a serious grip on my plot. Most of what I've written thus far is sound, and I have most of the rest plotted... but the whole thing was starting to feel like too much to keep in my head. The past few days I keep thinking of little things to add or mention in the first half-- threads that need another stitch before they weave more in the second half. Most of them are no big deal-- really just a sentence or two-- but there are like 20 of them. And I have some fuzzy areas. Like, I know all four of my main characters need to wind up on stage together at this one particular moment... but the particulars of the plot have changed enough from the first outline that the why and how no longer makes sense. So I need to find a new way. And Mary's back story was not an A+ in Sense-Making class; up until now it's been vague, but now we're getting to the point of the story where she's going to angst about it a little, and it was just too WTF.
So for my entire 3.5 hours of writing time today, I wrote out all the plot arcs and threads step-by-step in their own Scrivener page, and then I copied and pasted all the second-half-of-the-book steps from each into a new page, and rearranged them so they're in order. And now I have an outline to follow for the rest of the book, and a map of where to tweak the first half once it's editing time.
And that's all I got for today. Whew!