If you've never used Wordle after completing a manuscript, let me encourage you to try it out. The concept is pretty basic: copy and paste your document into the program, and it will show you a word cloud of the most frequent fliers in your selection. Once the cloud is displayed, you can remove things like your main and subsidiary characters' names in order to get a truer look at the repeat offenders.
I was fairly surprised by some of the words that I saw come up this time:
I don't know how well you can see that, other than my biggest no-no's. I think it's a link, if you click on the picture.
Obviously, you can see that I like my prepositions, as well as just. What a sneaky word, right?
However, I was really surprised to see so many body parts appear on the cloud:
I guess I have anatomy on the brain.
On my last post, Shain Brown asked me a few questions that it's time for me to face.
Might we ask your plans--contemporary or self-publishing? If you plan on querying, when do you foresee that process starting?
I have a more complex answer for this question that gets deeper into my personal feelings about who I am as a writer and where I see myself going, but the simple answer is yes.
Oh wait, it wasn't a yes-or-no question.
I don't plan on going the self-publishing route. I'm going to slug it out in the query trenches with everyone else. Maybe it's because I've always thought the phrase "slush pile" sounded rather refreshing--I love those Hush Puppie Icees/Slushies. If I'm in a slush pile, can it be blue raspberry flavored? Or Dr. Pepper? Thanks.
More seriously, though, I hope to start querying over the summer. However, I will not send out a letter until I'm absolutely ready. I have a lot of revisions to do on my novel, and then it will go into the amazing hands of my critique group. After that, I have some savvy beta readers standing by to poke any final holes in the book. Only after it's gone through all that, and I've decided that I won't just scrap it, then I'll turn to the query process.
Getting ready to query is going to take a lot of work for me. I've done absolutely zero agent research. I have no clue who my bright star might be.
I also have some fears about the timing of my query. I certainly don't expect to be snapped up right away, but if I did, then I'd probably be facing some revision deadlines during my first semester of nursing school. That scares the shit out of me, quite frankly. So then I think maybe I should wait. And then I remember the slush pile.
Honestly, I'm a little frightened. But right now, my focus is still on the book. I'm not going to think about queries or agents or agent revisions until the book I have is as shiny as I can make it.
Then we'll talk.