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Editing Sweet Revenge

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to all my faithful readers (all 1 or 2 of you) that I have decided to revise Sweet Revenge again (for the last time - I hope). I had decided to add back in some of the story elements that I'd deleted some time ago in order to get the word count down something agents and editors would consider reasonable (around 70,000 words) - not an easy task.

I originally had a lot more of a secondary characters' (Gary's and Kathy's) story, and had a word count of somewhere around 130,000 words. I toyed with the idea of putting some of that back in but now have decided against that idea as it really takes away from the main story. I did put back in a lot of what I'd cut of my main characters' (Mark's and Genie's) story and after doing that, the total word count is now hovering around 81,100 words. I hope that's not too far out of line.

The upshot of this is that I thought this would take me months to do, but thanks to WordPerfect's side-by-side window comparison feature, I was able to simply compare the old with the new and add what I felt was needed to make the story richer. Now, I just need to read through the story, using a hard copy and a red pen, to make sure the story flows and tracks, then I'll be ready to market it again.

Wish me luck with that one.

Another idea came to me, and I've been playing with it for some time now. As I've been going through this story and editing it, I've come to realize it's not only a coming of age story, but it may also be literary since it's totally character driven. I don't mean to say there is no plot, there's a strong plot, but the plot is driven by the characters, not the other way around. I'm not sure where mainstream, young adult, coming of age ends and literary begins, but it's something to consider.

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Don't Be Too Concerned With WC

I wouldn't let your wordcount bother you too much. The quality of the story definately trumps the length of it. And 81,000 isn't long by any stretch. In fact, if you're shooting for a "literary" designation instead of YA or something similar, 80,000 is often seen as a minimum. That being said, I wouldn't be too quick to tell agents and editors that you've got a literary work on your hands. You'll be much better off trying to sell it as YA or mainstream/commercial. These other catagories simply sell better than the lit designation. Of course, there's a certain cache to writing a work dubbed literary, but you'll probably be better letting it go if you really want to sell it, especially in these dismal times. 


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Thank you.

Thank you Jonathan. I wasn't really suggesting marketing it as a literary piece, but I can't help thinking it could fit into that category as well as a YA Coming of Age story.

That being said, your comments are greatly appreciated and encoraging.



If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. -Mark Twain