Draft two is done, and it has been sent away through the ether to my bow-tie-wearing editor in New York, who will hopefully like it and tell me so in generous language. Draft two is 17,000 words shorter than draft one. I was aiming for 20,000 words shorter, but that's still pretty good. And. . . it's not like I *cut* those words. Really, it was more like I cut out about half the book and then rewrote it from scratch. This was a much much bigger revision than I have done before, because Silksinger has been a tricky, tricky book from the beginning, but I think I have done it. I think this draft comes close to being what I want. I think I love it.
I feel weirdly empty and slack now, though, and all moody and surly. Why? I don't know. It will help when some eyeballs have read it and [hopefully] liked it. Certainly, that will help. I've been in this book so long it's hard to see it. I'm going to make some copies for a few kid readers, one of whom is my best friend's 10-year-old niece Miriam, who is the world's best and fastest kid reader, and another one is the darling, darling 10-year-old, Owen, whose father runs a literary festival and whose mother owns a chocolate shop and who swooned at my feet when he came to hear me do a reading. (Love those two kids.) And my parents haven't peeked at the book at all yet, and are anxious to. Jim has read a little more than half and today I will release the rest to him. It's always a tense moment, because of course when you finally give your manuscript to readers -- especially a reader you live with, you want them to fall into it, be unable to tear their eyes away, not get sleepy, love every single word. . . etc, and you want to hear them laugh from the next room, and you want to spy on them reading it, and if they get a perplexed look on their face, or smile, or look sad, you want to say, "What? What? What part are you reading now?"
Jim's very good. He laughs and cries and tells me nice things, and he hugs me a lot when I'm mopey, and he genuinely thinks I'm the best writer in the world. (He also thinks I have a better butt than Angelina Jolie, so, you know, he's kind of biased!) Oh, and he helps me make my action scenes better. (Thanks, sweetie. Mwah.)
Which brings me to the PRIZE mentioned above. . . Well. . . more of a prize PACK, really. Here it is: If you are interested in reading Silksinger shazam-fast and giving me feedback, then I will give you a copy of the fabulous audiobook of Blackbringer read by the marvelous Davina Porter, PLUS some Laini's Ladies goodies, such as a box of adorable post-its for use in your feedback-giving! (Have you noticed that this is kind of a trick? That it's. . . work? Shhh. . . don't tell anyone.) Are you interested? If so, email me [email@example.com] and let me know. In the subject line put: PRIZE PACK OF WORK. I will put names into a hat and draw one at random.
Okay, I think I will go wash my hair, and then maybe step outside. I must be vitamin-D-deprived. Is vitamin D the sunlight vitamin? I have a deep craving to be in a forest.
And then, there's thoughts -- always -- of the next book. . .