When a building’s top floor is in place, especially for tall buiildings, they’re “topped out.” Usually a tree, sometimes a flag.
Authors should have something analogous for a novel. Even if we’re not trying to appease the tree gods.
Sunday I pitched two projects to an agent at the Writers League of Texas Agents & Editors conference. A win for me, at my first pitching, would be “sure, I’d like to see the first ten pages and a query letter via email.” The agent with whom I chatted wanted to hear about two of my projects: my current novel, Last Run, a post-apocalyptic tale, and my Induction series, a “hot” SF set of novels. She wanted the first three chapters and a synopsis of the first, and then maybe the second. Yoiks.
Yesterday I “topped out” the novel, tearing up at the last scene. Last Run currently stands at around 173k words, and the sweet spot for novels in that category is closer to 85k words.
So… behold the mighty editor’s pen, out and primed in red.