Although I still have a lot of edits to do on the novella, I think I’ve accomplished a lot in the past six weeks. This week I made all the final additions to the story, sorted out the chapter breaks, and did a fair amount of revising, so at least I can say I have a decent start on the second draft.
One little problem–which I’d been anticipating–is that the novella is currently a very short novel. And for reasons I mentioned earlier, I’d really like this one to be a true novella. A lot of material will come out as I continue to revise, but the worrisome part is the idea of getting very close–say, down to 42,000 words–and realizing that cutting any more would mean sacrificing elements that truly enrich the experience of the story; I’m hoping it won’t come down to that. (It’s often said that there’s always more you can cut, and it’s true, of course–any novel can be condensed into one sentence, if that’s the only goal–but there comes a point of diminishing returns when you’re trying to create a literary work of art, and not a Cliff’s Notes version of your own book!)
I’m very glad I was able to participate in the Write-a-thon, and hope to do it each summer. I confess I find asking for pledges rather awkward (I suppose everyone does, unless they have oodles of wealthy friends!) but it does feel good to contribute to a worthwhile program. Since I’d just found out about the Write-a-thon shortly before it started, I think I can aspire to do better next year if I have a little more time to tell people about it.