I just sent a draft of Anagama to my writing critique team (all members not currently travelling overseas, that is). It clocks in at 32,560 words, so it is short for a novel, but then I don’t see the point of writing double that just to add extra word-padding. This noticeably detracted from Tolstoy’s works (he was paid per word), and while I may not be Tolstoy, I figure it would also detract from mine.
I haven’t yet thought of a good pitch for Anagama– but basically, it focuses on the question of what it means to be human. It is set on a future Earth in which humans are classified as having genomes 99.5% similar to a “standard” human genome, and anyone different enough- by birth or after infection by DNA-altering retroviruses- is considered non-human, and therefore potential property. The story follows the adventures of two such mutant humans and their efforts to take down Zurvan Corporation, a company which kidnaps and profits from the DNA of unfortunate mutants.
There are a few small edits that need to be done, which I will probably take care of tomorrow (things like adding in song lyrics or artist names to certain sections, fixing en and em dashes, fixing incongruities in UK vs US English spelling, that sort of thing).
But it feels good to have a working draft out there.
Happy 2016! And if you are an agent or editor and would like to see the first few chapters, write to me at bent dot elizabeth at gmail dot com.