Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The First Cut is the Deepest...

...but the NEXT one's the one to watch for ;0)

Following a full-on month of re-reading, cutting, revising, cutting, reorganizing, cutting, rethinking, cutting, and still more cutting (superfluous adjectives, gratuitous adverbs, and unnecessary uses of "that"), I submitted my new  leaner, meaner and, I think, much more readable version of "The Wayback Machine" to ABNA 5 in the YA division.

This version (now titled "The Way Back") shows the results of five years of gestation and development. It kicks off with more punch, introduces the characters more quickly, and gets the story rolling much more efficiently.  My first 5000 words really ought to leave the reader thinking, "So what happens next?"

So far, so good. The new book made the first cut, moving one to the quarter-finals (1000 of 5000 original entries), to be announced March 20th. That's great news, because the First Cut is made solely on the basis of the 300 word "pitch", and now professional reviewers will read the first 5000 words to decide which 250 novels go forward. If my "first 5000" is a much improved as I think it is, maybe, just maybe, we'll make it to the quarter finals.

I've been here before. A couple of years ago an entry made the first cut, but died there. I rationalized that with a thousand entries, many or even most of which are actually publishable, it's actually just a dice-roll about what moves on. So this time I'm not holding my breath, but I have to admit, staying in the game this far has my pulserate up just a bit. Stay tuned for March 20th....