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March 31, 2012

So a week ago I wondered, in the untidy back of my mind, what I’d be working on this summer. Writing-wise, that is. I knew the edits for the ghost novel would take a little while, but since I’m doing the Autocrit-level mechanical stuff for most of the manuscript now (before WUTA gets its collective mitts on it) not as long as usual. I’ve done a couple of short stories over the last couple of months, one of which I find myself deeply divided over, the other which I think should be ready to go after WUTA tweakage, but I wasn’t quite ready to go to all shorts, all the time.

I no longer have to worry about summer. An agent asked for an R & R on the faerie noir story, in a way that told me he’d read the thing the way I wrote it, that he *got* what I was trying to do. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he asked for me to turn 100,000 words in one novel into 80,000 words in each of two novels. The really good news is that at the end of the process, I’d have, you know, two novels instead of one.

I’ve never received an R & R for a novel before, so I have a limited frame of reference, but I think this one is a gem. He provided suggestions on what should go into those voids: subplots. He also suggested some of the issues needing further exploration. Well, hey, I see some connections there. All along, my fear was that expanding equaled padding. The agent’s suggestions quashed that fear.

So the plan is now:

    Finish mechanical edits, up to the last chapter or two, in the ghost novel.
    Pack it off for rumination by the Big Books section of WUTA.
    Start in on the additional subplots (two, I think–I’ve started sketching them out) in what will be the first Ray novel.
    Swing back to finish the ghost novel after I get the edits back from WUTA (we are now in mid-May)
    Send the ghost novel off to the aforementioned agent, who asked if I had any other manuscripts to look at (and this, when you get right down to it, is the best news of all)
    Spend as much time as needed layering on 31,000 words or so onto the first faerie novel. Part of me thinks this will fly by, part of me thinks it could drag out all summer. We’ll find out.

And then I get to send in the reborn first faerie novel.

Describing how I feel right now is a challenge. Giddy, scared, engaged, hopeful…all there, obviously, the usual suspects of writing. Something new’s there too, though. Momentum? Purpose? Focus? I’m not sure what to call it. I’ll entertain suggestions from the floor.

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