Yesterday I finished the second draft of THE MEMORY THIEF, a middle grade contemporary fantasy. It’s off to my agents now to see what their thoughts on the book are at the moment. They saw the first draft and liked it, and this second draft incorporated the changes they suggested, as well as the input I’ve gotten from some alpha readers and my writing group. I cut a fair bit, but I added a fair bit more, bringing the total from 40,000 words to 47,600. The book’s still in rough draft condition, though. What I mean by that is that I haven’t gone through and worked on polishing descriptions, taking out clunky phrases, trimming down the fat that goes into a book. Right now, I look at drafting in the same way I look at wood carving. You work on getting the rough shape in place before you start turning to fine details. I see no point in tweaking up a second draft if I find out there was a bunch of stuff in that draft that had to be massively overhauled, anyway.
And besides–I have my GET CUPID revision to return to. A revision I’m less than enthusiastic about, not because the book is bad, but because I was right in the middle of it when I set it aside to revise MEMORY THIEF. So now I know I have to find my notes, reread a bunch of material, and remind myself where in the world I was before I stepped away from the project.
Talk about a momentum killer.
That said, I’m glad I did it. I feel like THE MEMORY THIEF is a much stronger book now than it was fifty days ago when I started the actual second draft. (Ironically, it took me longer to revise the book than it took me to write it the first time. Conferences, work duties, and life got in the way from time to time.) I completely cut a major character, totally rewrote the denouement, expanded two or three scenes, and did a bunch of reworking throughout the book. We’ll see what ze agents say. In an ideal world. this books goes out on submission before the end of the year.
Of course, I don’t always live in an ideal world . . .
In the meantime, check out the page for THE MEMORY THIEF to get an overview on how the writing process has gone for the book thus far. Interesting stuff, although I’ll admit I’m biased . . .