79,000 words

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Remember that post from 2 months ago where I fretted that my latest draft came in at 97,000 words? Ideal length for a debut YA novel is between 70,000-80,000 words.Well, I'm happy to report that my revision brought that down to 79,000 words!! That number's likely to change as I continue refining the manuscript. I'm hoping it won't get much shorter. Both dual-POV and historical fiction novels tend to be on the longer side; The Devil's Wall is both. If I end up shorter, then I worry that I'm probably short-changing the world-building, or Anna's POV.So, we'll see! In any case, I've started to notice that there are some things I'm quite good at, and others....not so much.Strengths: first lines! Last lines! Knowing where to end a chapter. Cutting down in revision.Weaknesses: titles!! Readable prose! Characters! And hey let's stop before I get too down on myself. ;-)In other news, currently I'm waiting for feedback from a few critique partners, including my mentor. I gave them a draft that I'm really proud of. That said, every day I lose faith in this book. For real. But I keep telling myself that, as some lovely person posted on Twitter, I'm just in the "uncanny valley" stage of my novel, where it's really close to something decent, and seems all the worse for not being quite there.I'll start querying (again) soon, so I guess time will tell.PS: I think nerdy dancing gifs may be my new aesthetic!!!