The Goodhalo Revision
Well, if you were wondering if I’d abandoned my new website/blog/movie hut…I didn’t! I’ve been working, nose to the grindstone on getting all of my author-ly ducks in a row. The new series I did for Picture Window Books is all finished up (see ya, Bermuda Triangle!) and I drafted the two new middle grade books I’m doing for Stone Arch Books.
But, there’s been this black cloud hanging over me since…oh, mid-June? Yeah. Mid June.
That cloud, my friends, has been the requested revision of my zombie epic(?) GOODHALO.
I’m happy to report that as of last week, the revision is done, done, done!
You might be wondering: Why in the name of all that’s holy did it take so long?
Well, it’s simple. The book was a bit of a monster. It clocked in at 97,000 words, which, in comparison to other fantasy-type books, isn’t too huge. For my intended audience? It’s a bit lengthy.
Also, I’ve got a full-time job, a part-time job, and a part-part-time job. Oh, and a family, too.
Kind of hard to squeeze in the time I’d like to crank this thing out with all of that to balance.
So, TKT, how’d you do it?
Glad you asked, anonymous voice of the internets. I made a decision long ago. That decision? I wasn’t going to let my writing affect my ‘normal’ life…at least, until it becomes my normal life. Quite simply, I only work on my books and writing when the family is asleep and/or out of town. Once they’re in bed or on the road to my in-law’s house, I enter FULL HERMIT MODE and hit the Nerdery (my office) with full force.
I don’t shave. I sometimes skip a meal. My eyes feel like dry nuggets of salt in my face. I rarely come up for air. It’s a discipline, I guess, but I know it’s something I have to work at…sort of like a diet, otherwise, I fall off the wagon.
So…from 8:30-ish until 12:30am-ish, I’m working on stuff.
Now, can I say I worked on GOODHALO exclusively during this time? Nope. I had other, paying (and soon to be published) books to work on. We’re talking THE TRUTH ABOUT TROLLS, THE TRUTH ABOUT DRAGONS, and THE TRUTH ABOUT ELVES. Oh, and of course LEGEND OF THE VAMPIRE, LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF, LEGEND OF BIGFOOT and LEGEND OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE.
All of these little guys were vying for my attention, and quite frankly, I was glad for it. I needed to pull myself out of the undead apocalypse I unleashed on my hapless heroes. I have to admit feeling somewhat guilty leaving Pi, Gort and the gang hanging for weeks at a time, but they were right there waiting for me when the smoke cleared.
Anyway…it’s done and aside from another read-through and getting it to a friend (who digs zombie stuff, too) it’s going out to the agent (who shall remain unnamed) that requested it’s revision.
But I’ll leave you with some GOODHALO fact nuggets.
Revision requested: June 23, 2009
Revision completed: November 25, 2009
Word count at start: 97,000 (something)
Word count at end: 71,000 (or so)
Total words slashed: 26,000 words (I’m still stunned by this)
Percentage of book edited the #@%^ out: 27%
I’ve learned a ton during this long stretch. Let’s share:
– I tended to write the same thing over again, but in a different way.
– Some of my characters were just plain unlikeable.
– The word ‘zombie’ doesn’t appear in the book…ever.
– One red pen is not enough.
– Anything sounds like more fun than revising. My house is full of distractions, I’ve learned.
– My characters love them some inner monologue.
– Facebook is a time-suck.
Anyway, I’m jonesing to get this out again, work on my new projects and HOPEFULLY, get a chance to work on something new n’ exciting next year. If all goes well, I’ll have ANNA 2.0 ready for submission, start the draft of GOODHALO III, and start tinkering with my long-planned and to be announced project.
Let’s hope everyone will get a chance to read GOODHALO…you know, when it’s published.