I am finished again! Again. Again.
Over the weekend I finished my back-to-front edit of what is now officially the second half of Action Figures. Most of that work was tidying things up: fixing typos, eliminating redundant language (one of my major hangups), making sure it held together as a coherent narrative, etc.
Then came the merger part, where I stuck part two onto the end of part one and then revisited part one to find areas where I could more strongly tie the two sections together. I’d planned to add bits of dialog to foreshadow developments in the second half, but I learned I did not need to do too much of that. I’ll call it subconscious intentional planning rather than coincidence, but it turned out I did not have to do a lot of that; there were already several lines in part one that hinted at what was to come in part two so there wasn’t much left to add.
If anything, the review wound up as more weeding out of superfluous narrative. I ended up clipping about 500 or so unnecessary words to bring the manuscript in at 97,500 words total (give or take), which should satisfy one the requests I received from my prospective agent (apparently debut young adult novels clock in at 75,000 to 100,000 nowadays).
The whole magilla is off with some test-readers, a mix of my regulars and a few fresh eyes who are coming into the story cold. My goal is to have the manuscript fully polished and back out to the agent before the end of the month.