Friday, January 30, 2009

Final Deconstruction of Hafan Deg

Well, I guess I've completed my down-sizing. Hafan Deg is sitting at around 95,000 words, which is the best I can do. I figure somewhere between 90,000 to 100,000 words is the accepted norm for first books, so I'm happy to leave it as it is. Once I have interest in the work, I'm sure an agent won't reject my submission for the sake of a few extra pages.

I'm going to spend the weekend finishing my research on agents. There are so many truly delightful ones out there, and I'll approach them in order of my enthusiasm for them. The British agent search is more difficult. For some odd reason, few of them accept email submissions. 95% of U.S. agents do, celebrating the era we live in. That's not to say I won't submit hard copy, but it's an unwieldy, inefficient way to do it, I think. I wonder how many of you have decided email is the only way to go. We are all so thoroughly spoiled now. I'm not even sure what the cost of a postage stamp is these days.

It's possible that my little readership includes some Jane Austen fans. For you, or someone you know, there is a British competition for an Austen-inspired, 2,000-2,500 word short story . I enjoy her books, but never had the inclination to try to write in that style or particular romantic genre. (I'm a died-in-the-wool Thomas Hardy nut. Sorry to mention the wool - Far From The Madding Crowd, remember?)

For those of you who'd love to show how familiar you are with her writing, give it a shot. You have until the end of March, tons of time to whip something together. It doesn't have to be a period piece, but it should reflect the Austen theme, from a character, situation, location, even a sentence, derived from her work. There is a nice little prize - One Thousand Pounds Sterling, although I think you Austen lovers would do it just for the love of it. You can find all the details at Chawton House Library Competition.


Lapillus said...

Thank you for posting the Jane Austen competition! I might just have a go at it. Depends on what I can come up with.

Congrats on finishing your downsizing!

Janet said...

It sounds like we are at a very similar stage. I just finished trimming more than 8000 words off mine and am now facing the query monster.

I have to confess, I'm a little afraid of success too. Not because of public scrutiny (really, very few writers get to the point where it's bothersome) but because of deadlines. Writing under pressure? Eep.

Fran said...

It's odd, but I seem to write better under pressure. I'm inclined to let the book slide a bit - especially the editing - when no one is watching me.

With luck, you'll find an agent who will say, "Anytime - there's absolutely no rush for your MS." Your book will then be a huge success, and you'll be interviewed EVERYWHERE.

I, on the other hand, hope for an agent who wants the finals by Friday, but who says, "This book will sell itself..."

Janet said...

Ah, if we could only tailor these things to measure, eh?

I think a little pressure would do me good, but if I start feeling overwhelmed, I tend to curl up in a ball (emotionally).