Editing. It Begins



As you know–or should–it’s December now. The glamorous, grueling, and oftentimes godawful month of November and the month of writing like a madwoman are now over. I finished the month at JUST OVER 130,000 words, and my novel sits shiny at about 190,000, and exactly 500 pages. This is the longest thing I’ve ever written, and I’m very proud. It’s also the first original that I have ever finished, so I’m absolutely over the moon with pride and joy right now. It’s my baby. My own… my precioussss….

Ahem. Wrong story, ne?

I’m… extremely happy right now. Of course, my head is filled with the lofty, wistful dreams of a new author. I want to believe that this is the start of something beautiful. Now I shuttle it off to an agent, who gives it to a publisher, who prints my book. Soon I’ll see it on the shelves of every major bookstore and can pet the cover, starry eyed and replete.

Except it’s not that easy. I’m not a fool. The next few months are going to be longer than November in a lot of ways. There’s a process that must be respected. I have to give Achillea the proper amount of love and care. I have to make sure it’s just as shiny as it can be before I expect someone else to love Myen and Heike as much as I do. So for the time being, Achillea is in beta. I’m editing it and shuttling it off to my first beta. I know she’s busy and wants to take her time, that’s why I gave her part of it while I’m still working on it. I don’t imagine that we’ll see this published any time immediately soon, but I do promise to give it my best try. 😀

I will continue to update the blog for my part. My journey is far from complete. If you were to compare my writing career to a video game, I just made sure that I got all of the items I will need for my quest, but I haven’t even left the hometown yet. My novel is my Master Sword. I’m equipped. But really, the story is only beginning, and I have a long ways to travel before I win the game. Stay tuned!

P.S. If you want to help me in any way, the best way you can is to please add me on Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook, and share me with your friends. ^_^ I’ve actually been doing some reading, and your ‘potential reader base’ can make you more attractive to agents. If you have tons of followers and friends on social media, some agents will interpret that as ‘people who might read your book.’ If you do share our blog, I would truly appreciate it. Getting our feet off the ground is going to be the hardest part, and the wildfire that is social media and the internet is our best bet!


About oneofthedragons

Samantha K. Balk and F. R. Donaldson met on An Archive of Our Own, one of the many fanfiction sites online, when Sam asked Frankie to illustrate the fanfiction that would one day lead to Sam's first novel. They've been friends ever since! This blog was created as a way to share the oftentimes difficult journey any new author experiences on the uncomfortable quest of an introvert for attention to his or her most personal work. It is meant to remind you that authors don't just appear fully fledged like a George R. R. Martin, that all of us start out unsure and feeling inadequate. Feel free to ask us anything. Sam: sammykaye9@gmail.com Frankie: reluctant.fraggle@gmail.com

Posted on December 2, 2014, in Information, Sam Updates, The Dead Pete Society and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Editing is the hardest part, I think. (Besides the marketing if self-pub). There are times when I actually have fun editing, which is weird. But then there are those moments, kind of like today, actually, where I just hate everything lol.

    Good luck with everything!


    • Sam says: Thank you! I usually quite enjoy the editing myself. I think it’s mostly just that I penned this one too fast and didn’t take the time to revise as I wrote it, which I usually do. I wrote it too fast on account of NaNoWriMo and I learned my lesson. I’m going to do it my way from now on.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 190,000 words. Have you written a novel before? Who can say what shape it is in. The problems of organization, story and character increase geometrically as a novel lengthens.
    I have to use a comment I believed was funny and instructive to the teller, Stephen Soderheim (sp?). He gave a book for a musical to Oscar Hamerstein. Hamerstein gave it back, and Soderheim went through it looking for comments: None. On the last page the older author circled the page number, 99 (long), and underneath he wrote, “Wow.”


    • Sam says: No, I haven’t 😀 But I have written fanfics. The longest fanfic I wrote was 109K.

      Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of criticism about novel length and word count… but my way of thinking is this: I don’t ever even bother to buy a novel that is less than 400 pages. And if that is what I am used to reading… might as well write that way too. I don’t feel as if I have enough time to set everything up properly if I don’t have at least 100K words to work with. I am aiming to write in the genre of epic/high fantasy, which is known for being complex and intricate and deep. I can’t achieve that with any less than 200 pages, so I’m not ashamed of my word count. I’ve been trying to trim it as I edit, and I only end up adding more on.

      I realize that there are many agents who are going to turn up their noses at my word count, but I’m not going to change me and how I do for an agent. If it comes down to that, I’ll self pub. The thing is… I’m willing to bend on some things, but changing who I am and how I write and what I want out of a story isn’t going to be one of those things.

      I believe in myself. I’ll fix the problems. It’s going to be a pretty big project, but big projects have never scared me before. 🙂

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!


      • Don’t be discouraged by people like me asking about it. There are scenes from two movies about long novels. In SIDEWAYS the protagonist hands Virginia Madson a eight inch box containing his novel. She offered to read it. NEXT he goes back for a second box of the same size. My reaction: Don’t do that! But none the less, it was funny, Perhaps at the end he found love.
        There is a Michael Douglas movie, where he is a writing professor at a small college. He’s working on a novel. At the end of the movie he carries the novel out to a pier on a river and sets it down, and watches the wind pick up pages from the sack of 2700 pages and spread them across the water. My reaction: DON’T DO THAT!


      • I do my best not to be discouraged, but we’re all human and it happens. XD Currently my low spirits are just par for the course I think. We all hit a wall somewhere where all the words read like shit. ^_^

        It’s really nice to actually be getting some comments now! Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself and I don’t need help feeling like I’m going a little crazy AHAHAHAHA!


      • The most important behavior you appear to have is your sense of humor.


      • Awww….. thank you! 😀 I’m rarely, if ever, in a truly bad mood. I actually rather enjoy my life, and I feel very fortunate that I have the spare time to write. 🙂


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