Light-at-the-End-of-the-Tunnel Mode

Posted: August 13, 2014 in Writing
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Since my daughter and I have come to the very last chapter in our middle grade urban fantasy novel, The Last Princess, we have entered serious light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel mode, and we’ve become eager and antsy. The end is so close we can feel the breeze of fresh air and our eyes are already adjusting to the light. But I realize something; it turns out the light at the end of the tunnel is just the opening of another, much bigger tunnel.

Well, crap.

I suppose, like a lot of aspiring writers I believed the hard part was writing the novel. And once it was finished you relaxed and collected royalty checks and occasionally sat in a Barnes & Noble and signed copies of your book. My daughter and I have been laboring on this book for 16 months, and now that we are putting the final touches on the very last chapter, we’re looking at a long list of tasks ahead of us:

  • Rewrite the opening “hook.”
  • Per our notes, make revisions to various chapters.
  • Add foreshadowing throughout to support the climax and denouement.
  • Filter for “weasel” words and passive tense.
  • Convert the entire book to standard manuscript format.
  • Send the revised manuscript out to beta readers.
  • Compile a list of agents who represent our genre and style
  • Create a killer pitch
  • Compose a query letter
  • Revise the manuscript per beta readers’ notes
  • Mail off query letters . . . .


Somewhere in there we need to develop plotlines and pitches for the next several books in what we envision as a series, including a master arc covering the whole series (so we can pitch this as a series in our query). Seems like this new tunnel has a few branchings that’ll need to be thoroughly explored.

As for relaxing, well, by this point I expect we’ll be several chapters into our next book, The Last Fairy Godmother.


I’m definitely still holding out for those book signings, though.

NEWSFLASH: We’re days from finishing the first draft of The Last Princess.  If you would like to sign up to be a beta reader, please use the “Beta Reader Sign-Ups” tab at the top of this page.


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