I, officially, started the journey for this manuscript in May of 2010 and ended the writing portion on June 12, 2011. It doesn’t mean that I won’t still tinker with it, but it does mean that there will be no new major plot twists unless directed by a professional (an agent, publisher, or editor).

The “final” version has 79,549 words.

I cut over 55,500 words and I didn’t start tracking this until February. Yes, I could have almost written another novel.

I finished the first draft in the beginning of November.

Countless times, I have thought it was brilliant. Countless times, I have doubted the story. And to be honest there were a few tears shed.

I am now ready to start “the getting an agent” phase. The one where I write query letters, and synopsis. The one where I compile spreadsheets of the agent names I would like to build a career with. The one where I become neurotic and obsessive about checking my email for responses. The one that hopefully won’t last too long.

However, while I am in the throes of the second phase, I’ll also start another work in progress. In fact, I already have. I am going to apply what I have learned and I hope to diminish the number of mistakes I made and the number of words I cut.

Where are you on your path?