Look, I know I invited you to come write a book draft with me this summer and it didn’t go well. I understand you may have trust issues now. Why you trusted me in the first place shows a concerning lack of judgment, my friend. Never trust a writer (they make up everything).
Well, summer’s over so now what?
If you recall my very first post, I did mention a finished fantasy Middle-Grade novel called Miss Stick’s Problem-Solving Agency. I wrote it, showed it to my critique group, edited it, sent it to a freelance editor, and read the feedback. I also shared it with a very few people and got their feedback as well. My plan was to put Miss Stick aside for the summer (while I played with the space oyster war story and let Miss Stick simmer on the back burner of my mind), reopen it in the fall with fresh eyes, polish it, and start submitting it to literary agents.
First, let’s break it down with some data: Miss Stick is currently complete with 23 chapters and 27,636 words. The thing about Middle Grade is that its target audience is in between the ages of 8 and 12, which doesn’t sound like a big deal but it’s a very large gap in reading skills. Under the Middle Grade umbrella, you’ll find anything from Diary of a Wimpy Kid with under 20k words to Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone with nearly 80k.
And before you go all “thanks for this useless piece of information” on me (I have a 9-year-old so I'm used to having someone critique the usefulness of everything I say), let me get to my point. My specific goal for Miss Stick was to provide a fun story with enough complexity to challenge the mental maturity of a child who has outgrown the simplicity of chapter books but isn’t quite ready for the longer word counts of many Middle Grade books, especially in the fantasy genre. All that to say that while my word count may change as I edit, I don’t foresee it changing drastically. Compared to drafting a novel, when word count is often the key metric for success or goal completion, the numbers aren’t quite so fun to watch while editing.
So what am I going to update you with, if not word counts? Good question! I have no idea. I think I’ll try to write a weekly post (“weekly,” she says, laughing) explaining whatever I’m working on.
Are you ready to come edit a book with me? I.e. Are you ready to be taken on another wild ride where I promise you I’ll do one thing and then proceed to do whatever the hell I want? (Oh wait, I see where my 9-year-old gets it from.)