I recently finished a novel and started the “great agent hunt” — aka, begging great agents to represent your book to publishers. While doing research on agents and picking the ones I wanted to start with, I found that several of my favorite agents were asking for manuscripts over 75,000 words long. Mine came to 65,500 words. (I will mention that all the publishers I was looking at accept 65,000 word manuscripts).
At first I considered sending my manuscript out as is (it’s been worked and reworked a dozen times over the past six years and I felt it was ready and complete) but after some consideration, decided that I am a “professional” and will keep within the specific guidelines requested buy each agent/publisher… even it it requires opening a vein and coming up with an extra ten thousand words while maintaining a lean manuscript (still cutting every adverb and adjective I can!).
It was surprisingly easy. I started at the beginning, just adding tidbits here and there that give more insights into the characters — their wants and challenges, and the events that tie them together. Several more scenes evolved, involving singed books, contemplated suicide, and more of that wonderful romantic tension that goes so well with chocolate! (I admit, I have cravings). I am now on page 156 out of 261 and only have 3000 words left. My confidence is growing.
If all goes well I will have my final manuscript ready to send out by early February and my “great agent search” will continue. Of course one of them will love it (fingers crossed) and my first book deal will be in the works by the end of 2014 (a girl can dream, can’t she 😉 ) By early 2015 you can all be snuggled up with a warm blanket on a comfy couch with lots of chocolate, flipping pages of a great novel — not mine, but that’s only because publishing will take longer than that!
Don’t worry, I’ll get there. Besides, even if it takes another decade, I’ll still beat the average age for finally getting published!