96 feels like a lucky number*

February 1, 2011

Know what makes it difficult to meet a deadline? Getting in a fight with your book.

But I’d vowed to finish this revision by the end of January, and I did it. I e-mailed draft #4,067 of Please Send Pants to my agent in the wee hours of Jan. 31st. I’m pretty excited about the changes!

The manuscript now stands at 96,000 words, or 296 double-spaced pages. Whoa, I’m just now noticing the double 96 in those statistics… That’s good luck, isn’t it?

If you’re as obsessed with word count as me (highly unlikely), you’ll know that 96,000 words is longer than I’d intended. But my agent says the manuscript’s momentum is more important than the word count, and my manuscript has momentum. So we’ve opted not to cut for now, though it will always be an option in the future.

What do I do when you finish a revision? A fist pump. And then I tend to all the other areas of life I neglected while trying to get it done.

Now it’s your turn: How’s your project coming? I love hearing where you all are in the process, so I hope you’ll keep us posted in the comments.

*I’ve been focusing on creating SEO-friendly headlines, and this one does not qualify. But I feel like using 96 in the headline makes it even more lucky, and I need all the luck I can get.

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    17 Replies to “96 feels like a lucky number*”

    • Hey Alexis!
      isn’t 96 divisible by 13 too? ooohhh, i think so! Not sure!

      I’m excited for you! I hate revisions, but love them at the same time. I am in the middle of developmental edits for Carina and sent in MS to Rachelle a couple weeks ago. Also WIP is booming along at 33k and slamming about 2 to 3k a day on it.

      That’s where I’m at. When I finish a step in the process, I roll my eyes and wonder what’s next before I run and grab my kids and play or take them for ice cream! It’s the little excuses to have ice cream that make them and me happy!

      Have a great day!

      • Alexis Grant says:

        Love that about running for ice cream! It’s easy to forget to celebrate, but like you say, that’s an important part of the process, too. Good luck with your edits!

    • Alexis– that’s wonderful. I’ve told you before that I’ve been following your journey and (living vicariously!). I appreciate all you are sharing here on the blog. This week I finished my *new* first draft. After getting feedback from Rachelle at a writer’s conference, I took my book apart and put it back together. I’ve found a great writing partner and we meed each week. I’m also obsessed with word count… and mine is low right now… but on this draft I focused on the important plot points and now I’ll go back and color it in. Congrats again!

    • Karen Walker says:

      Hi Alexis,
      Congratulations. I simply can’t wait until I’m holding your memoir in my hands. I’m slogging away on my fiction work. I only have about 6,000 words, but it’s something. My singing group takes up quite a bit of time and I’m kinda getting used to this being retired state, so whatever I accomplish in terms of writing is okay right now.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Congratulations on completing your revisions, Alexis! I think that warrants a celebration. While a fist pump is nice, chocolate is even more fun. =)

    • Doug Mack says:

      Congrats on this milestone, Lexi! I definitely agree: get it all out there and cut later.

      I’ve been taking two weeks off between finishing my draft and beginning editing–told myself I’d start back up at the beginning of February … and here we are.

      • Alexis Grant says:

        Good for you for taking time off — I think that’s honestly the best (and sometimes the hardest) thing we can do to make our manuscripts better.

        • Doug Mack says:

          Yep, the first several days were painful–could NOT stop thinking about the book, no matter how hard I tried to distract myself. Of course, now that my brain has finally started to quiet down, it’s time to start it back up again!

          But, yeah, I do think it’s absolutely vital to take a break before editing–it really helps to see it with fresh eyes. Hope you’re taking a breather for now, too!

    • Emma says:

      Congratulations to you! I am a ways behind you in the process (still doing my own revisions before querying agents). This stage of the game (50,000+ words, and yes, I am also obsessed with word count) is messy, grueling, and frustrating. I just wish I had more hours in the day!

    • Hope Clark says:


      Congrats! I turned in my edits on my novel to the publisher two weeks ago after a two-week marathon. It does feel nice, but then you have all this energy seeking a place to go. So I’m thick in the middle of a subsequent novel. I’m afraid to stop!


    • Congratulations! I’m so impressed that you were able to get that done in such a timely manner! I recently went out to meet my agent in person, which was exciting. On the down side, I haven’t made much progress in the revisions he suggested. I keep getting sidetracked by other projects, and I probably have a mental block about doing so much work. 🙂 I’m hoping to jump back in this week.

      Anyway, congrats again!

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Alexis! I just started reading your blog and it is really inspiring. =) I’m still in the process of querying literary agents and hoping that someone finally gives my novel a chance. I’ve gotten a few requests for partial manuscripts, and every time I get rejected, I go back and edit again. I have cut 25,0000 words from my original manuscript so far! I’m pretty obsessed with my word count, and now I have it down to 109,783. I am procrastinating and reading your blog instead of editing right now. I am really curious how much more I will need to edit once I finally have an agent and it’s time to get the manuscript ready for publication. Good luck with everything! Your memoir sounds awesome. I spent a number of years abroad in different countries and I think life is meant to be lived off the beaten path. Take care!

      • Alexis Grant says:

        Thanks for this comment, Meredith! I love hearing from other writers who are going through the same experiences. I hope you’ll keep me posted on your agent hunt… Or maybe I’ll read good news on your blog 🙂

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