Sunday, October 16, 2011

First edit done!

My first major edit of Bloodstone, my Urban Fantasy novel (and first in a series) is finally done. I did some major cuts, got rid of a character that I’ll save for Book Two, and trimmed some other fat. What started out as nearly 175,000 words is now down to just shy of 141,000. 34,000 is a nice chuck, and a good start. There’s still some bloated chapters in the middle that need work, so I’m hoping once I go back through and work on them, I can get closer to my goal of 100k-120k. That’s a much more traditional length for an Urban Fantasy novel by a non-established author.

I really like this book, and am excited to write the series, but now is where the worries kick in: will people think it’s too similar to other UF series? I don’t think it is, but it’s pretty difficult to write a book about vampires and vampire slayers without there being some similarities here and there. The general conventions of the genre make it impossible to avoid. I keep telling myself that I have a twist no one else (that I’ve read) has used, and that alone makes it different enough. I’m too paranoid by nature not to worry. Since I first wrote it in 2001, the vampire genre has exploded, and there are a LOT more out there to be compared to. Eek!

What I’m aiming for is to have it finished and released by January, to cash in on all the post-Christmas ebook purchases, but that may be wishful thinking. I started getting Destined ready for publication in April and wasn’t ready to release it until the end of August. Granted, I had things pop up in my life that delayed me, and I wasn’t working full-tilt on it all the time, but still, trying to release Bloodstone in half the time might be too ambitious. The formatting will be easier this time around, now that I’ve done it before, and I don’t need to do all the self-publishing research I did last time. I don’t need to design the website or set up Facebook and Twitter and GoodReads and whatnot: that’s all there now. So maybe, maybe, I can do it. I’m not going to rush it, though. If I can’t get it out in time, then I can’t. It’s all going to depend on how many editing passes it takes to be happy with the final result, and how long it takes other readers to do their own proofreads and edits. And since my main editor just had a baby, she’s going to be pretty busy. :)

My other option is to take my time with Bloodstone and work on releasing the shorter mystery novel instead. (The Janet Evanovich-meets-Medium one I mentioned in my “What’s Next?” post a week or so ago. I changed my mind about shoehorning a new character into it: it’s not going to work.) I still have concerns that it’s too short, but cozy mysteries are generally shorter than other novels, so maybe I’m fretting over nothing.  And that book takes place over the holidays (it starts on Thanksgiving and spans a few weeks after), so the timing there would be good. Something to think about. It’s much more polished than Bloodstone is right now, so it wouldn’t take as long to get ready. If only I had a damn title. The working title was H(a)unted, but that’s too weird. (It’s a combination of hunted and haunted, both of which apply to the plot.) Since my first book is called Destined and the UF is Bloodstone, I feel like I need to get away from one-word titles. I need something catchy and unique, that lends itself to the possibility of being a series later. *sigh* I hate titles.


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