Saturday, July 11, 2009

finished the novel edits! now need your help!

Yesterday afternoon I finally, FINALLY, finished the edits on my third novel manuscript. As usual, I felt a little sad that I had come to the end of it, and while printing it out (I always keep a hard copy of the final draft), I got caught up reading passages as I waited for the pages to emerge from the printer.

For anyone who writes and has completed a novel or other book-length project, you know this feeling. It's an odd mixture of glee and emptiness. And it can happen any number of times with any given ms because sometimes what we *think* is the final draft isn't.

This particular ms is going off to a very particular reader, so until I actually box the thing up and get it in the mail I'm not completely done with it. And when it comes back with feedback I'll certainly be taking it up again, but for now, emotionally, I'm done.

Also as usual, about 15 minutes after I put the entire stack of pages into their box, The Next Book began to screech at me, in this case, two of them.

One is a middle grade novel that has been sitting in my head for several years. I have about 4 chapters and a lot of notes and an idea of where it's going.

The other one is nonfiction, has also been sitting in my head for a good while, and for that one I have about 150 pages done and every chapter is at least named and blurbed.

My resolution for 2009 was to go through these books, one at a time, in the order they came to me. This is murky with these two, though, as I can't quite remember which one came first, and I'm eager to work on both again. The thing I don't want to do is vacillate between them, getting a little bit done on one, and then another bit done on the other.

So today is about making a decision and then moving on with it.

To that end I'd like to do a little experiment. I'm going to assign random numbers to each project. If you want to help me out, sit quiet for a moment, let a number between 1 and 100 pop into your head, and then leave it in a comment. I'll see which one has the most numbers closest to those I assigned. I'm curious to see which one gets the most psychic "votes." :)

ADDENDUM: It occurred to me that I should probably not put the comments through until I get them all in, so that no one is influenced by reading previous commenters' numbers. I'm going to collect comments and numbers until midnight tonight (Saturday July 11) and then I'll post the comments and do the calculating. Thanks to all who have already left numbers - hopefully more folks will so I get a good "sample." :)


Enchanted Forrest said...

What a fun way to help make a decision! The number that popped into my head even before I finished reading was 7.

Congratulations on finishing your current project and best of luck starting on your next.

Grey Horse Matters said...

For some reason the number that came into my head was 58. Probably because towards the end of the month that's what my new age will be on my birthday.

Good luck choosing a book you can throw yourself into.

the7msn said...


(that was fun)

AnnL said...


Interesting process you devised. I hope the spirits are guiding us. I'll be interested to know what the percentages are--did one win out by a narrow or wide margin?

Anonymous said...


Test comment...blogger is telling me I don't own my openid identity...

I need orange said...

4. :-)

Matthew said...


Victoria Cummings said...

Number 9. Looking forward to what comes out of this!

ponymaid said...

Billie, Forty Six.

billie said...

Thanks, everyone!!