We survived Sandy pretty well up here in Westchester, which I’m incredibly thankful for. We never lost power or hot water, and the flooding wasn’t too bad. I can’t say the same for lower Manhattan, and the scene is just really horrific down there. As of right now, I’m off work until further notice, since the clean-up efforts are going to be tremendous. Not to mention, the MetroNorth is pretty damaged (both by flooding and by boats being thrown onto the tracks). It really is a mess. Honestly, I’m just glad to be home.
I hope everyone in the area is safe and well. Please leave a message so I know you’re okay!
So, thanks to Sandy, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my writing and where I want to go with it. After mulling it over and getting some feedback, I’ve decided to dump Furious Angels into my slush pile.
This definitely hurts…a lot…but I’m also incredibly relieved.
It was my first book. It was over 200K words long and even after cuts, it was at 150K. The relationship was bad and amateurish. The overarching plot line itself was probably the only salvageable thing, but even that floundered towards the end. I think what hurts the most is the amount of time I’ve spent on it…writing, revising, cutting, revising, wash, rinse, repeat. I literally spent the last year trying to fix this mess between medical school and life in general, and you know what? It’s still a mess. I began to realize that I would never be happy with it, not without throwing the whole thing out and either rewriting it or dropping it.
I’ve grown as a writer, and I can now recognize these mistakes for what they are. I thought I was being too critical, but after having confirmed it with others, I now know my intuition was right. I kept reading about how most authors never published their first book, that yes, they learned very much from it, but I kept thinking, “I can make this work.” And now I know I can’t.
So I’m dropping it altogether, and making Releasing the Demons the first book in the series. I don’t have to tweak much, and most people who’ve read it said it could definitely be a standalone or a first in a series. I think the relationship is a lot more engaging, I’ve received nothing but good feedback on the book in general, and I really love this story–more than any story I’ve written so far. I feel like this is the “book inside me” and I really want to send it out into the world. It’s dark, it’s violent, and it was hard to write at times, but I think that’s why I love it so much–it challenged me like nothing else could.
So this is going to be my goal for November (and likely for the rest of the year)–revise RTD, polish it up, and query it. I may wait on querying until early next year (since after Nano, agents are bombarded with queries), but I’ll see how it goes. Then I’ll finally get back to a A Beautiful Lie, which I also love right now, and I’ll finish it up. Maybe I’ll have both done before I query. I need to map out this world more, write up bios, and just clarify what’s happening in my head. I’ve had this world embedded in my brain for years now, but I’ve never actually put it all down on paper. Maybe I need to do that.
I woke up this morning and it was just so perfectly clear to me. I haven’t felt that way about my writing in a long time.
Finally, I’m feeling a little optimistic about all of this.
And lastly, Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe and may you eat lots of candy! 🙂