So I thought I was done, ready to dive into the world of literary agents when I realized I’m targeting the wrong audience. I initially thought adult Fantasy readers would be my main audience, but in truth, it’s Young Adult. I believe it will easily be a crossover novel and appeal to both Young Adult and Adult readers, however the heart of the audience will be young adults.
So what’s the problem you say? The problem is after 5 revisions/rewrites, I had cut my book down to what I thought was an impressive 106,000 words, however, Young Adult novels typically range between 65,000 – 85,000. Now at 106,000 words I’m not in a horrible state of over-writing, in fact I’ve made a point to cut most of the unneccessary words from my novel. But to put myself in a literary agents shoes, do I really want to take on a first time author that’s over the word count that much? Probably not.
The good news is, over the weekend I made it about 1/3 of the way through my book and managed to cut out another 6000 words. If I can do that for the next 2/3 of the book I’ll be down to 88,000 words. I’m going to try to hit 85,000 but if I get to 88,000 I’ll be satisfied.
Because the last few revisions I did I tried to cut out a copious amount of words. The most common being: Just, was, were, that, looked, watched, (my characters were looking here, watching there a lot.), there, and all the ly words I could. Now that those are gone I’m trying to rearrange the way sentences are worded, and cutting out parts that don’t more the story forward. So when all that’s said and done I should have a really really really really fantastically polished manuscript. I hope.
More good news! I have revised my query again, I know you’re tired of reading that line. I’ll be posting the revised version later tonight (I’m at work now) and I’ll also be reposting the last two queries. This way you’ll be able to see how I went from a bare bones outline, to wordy mess, to fairly tight, to a tight concise beauty of a query (I hope it is). If you agree, you’ll be able to see just how great it is to have some fresh eyes (that don’t know you) to critique your work.
On a side note, upon recommendations from other agented authors, I’ll be taking down the sample chapters I’ve posted. However, they’ll be up until the end of this week so read them while you can!!!
Check back later tonight for the updated query and the old versions and see what you think.
Tune in tomorrow. Same Matt time, same Matt channel.