Two weeks ago, I reached the point where I couldn't edit the book any more without chopping out what I believed to be important sections of the story.  It's only 2000 words longer than the first Harry Potter book at the moment, so hopefully it's in the ballpark. I re-sent it to the literary agent who'd first suggested I reduce the word count and now I have to wait.  It's likely that this wait will be measured in months rather than weeks and though I'm desperate for feedback, I'll resist the urge to chase (however tempting it is). When I first submitted the book to the agency in question, I waited 5 months. As this is a second submission after a very positive first response, I'm sincerely hoping I won't have to wait so long this time, but there's one thing I have learned about the book business; either you learn patience or you give up. I've opted for learning patience.

In order that I retain the last shreds of my sanity, I took a couple of nights off working on the book, then dug out the work I'd done so far on the sequel (The Iron Golem).  I'm editing from the start to the point I stopped writing to go back and edit the first book. I thought this would be the best way to refresh my memory so I can continue working.  I still believe that the more I get done on the sequel, the better, as if I get published, it's likely to mean a sequel will be required sooner rather than later (what kid wants to wait 3 years to read book 2 in the series?)

The plus side is, I'd written 20,000 words, which is between a quarter and half of the whole book. I'm about halfway through editing, applying what I used on The Chronomancer's Daughter to tighten the language and basically not use any words I don't have to. After that, I'll be ready to pick up where I left off.  There's no reason I can't have the bulk of the first draft down before summer ends if I put my mind to it.  At least it'll keep me out of trouble.  And thanks, those of you who kept asking me for updates;  I'll try to update more regularly on writing progress or agent news. TTFN