I’ve finished my novel BLACK RIVER. It’s complete at 105,000, a word count I’m comfortable with. The genre is mainstream contemporary with cautionary undertones. (I know, I made that category up.) Now comes the spit and shine, and to help me see the gaps and inconsistencies, I’ve sent it over to Ethan Vaughan, an agent-in-waiting who blogs here.
Ethan interned at a literary agency over the summer and aspires to one day be a literary agent. Right now he's a college student who writes readers reports in his spare time, which is pretty cool. He has posted a sample reader's report which will give you a feel for how agents critique unpublished manuscripts.
He’s looking for manuscripts to read and critique on his blog. If you’re ready for a little exposure and an independent critique, you might want to check out his site, Searching For The Story.
What have I learned this time around? I found that I can write a novel under 140,000 words. With this one I have wiggle room. If something needs to be added, there's space. If something needs to be cut, I would still end up with a novel in the 90,000 to 100,000 word count which to me is a good range.
While this one is out with a couple of readers, I will compose my query letter, hopefully with help from Mindy McGinnis at Writer Writer Pants on Fire, one of my favorite people from Agent Query, the top spot for query assistance, and anyone else I can impose upon. Then I have a couple of short stories with a deadline fast approaching and then.....I concentrate on Will. Oh, I love the dark and desperate, the hurt and conflicted, those characters who love and lust and make mistakes.