A little behind schedule, but I finally finished the Read Through/Polish of the manuscript for Kricket's Song. As I wrote the rough draft, I discovered I had a lot of bad habits when it comes to writing. I tend to use certain sentence structures way to much, and of those, a few are quite clumsy. I also have a tendency to use too many adverbs and adjectives. The polish was an attempt to get rid of as many of those errors as possible, and I think I did a good job of it.
In total, I eliminated almost 2,400 words from the manuscript that served no purpose whatsoever, other than to clutter things up. The current word count now totals just over 95K, and I think it's ready to go out to beta readers. So, tomorrow, I'll be contacting the two people who've already volunteered, and I'll be looking for others as well. While the beta readers have it, I'll be working on creating a query letter and a synopsis for the book. I'll also be researching agents I'd like to query. Hopefully I can get that process rolling very soon! It'd be nice to have an agent before summer, so that he/she can be working on selling it to a publisher while I'm wandering around the woods firefighting.
I'll also be working on getting a more concrete plot outline and character sheets drawn up for the next book, tentatively titled Kricket's Key. I've had enough ideas trickling in over the past couple months that it shouldn't be too hard, and most of my characters are drawn up already. Just need to change their motivations and goals for this new book. There will, however, be some other characters entering the equation.
That's about all for now; I hope to have more updates on the process soon!