The Rewriting, it BURNS! But oh so good!

So, Seeking Home has met with a lot of agents who liked the premise, but rejected it.  The few who gave Personal rejections almost all said the writing was good but they struggled to connect to the manuscript.

Several Beta readers liked the book, but this recurring problem was troubling.  I thought about just trunking it, but… as one of my friends put it, this book is of my heart.  It’s important to me on several levels, and I can’t just let it go.  Not yet.

So I asked a friend who is VERY good at emotional connection and character motivation to give the first 50 pages a look.  Her comments were, as she put it, “not nice.”

Don’t get me wrong–she wasn’t mean.  She was “kind, but not nice.” Which is what I need.  I need the problems identified.  She did a great job with that, and I think I get why agents aren’t connecting with this story.  She also did it with the perfect mix of humor and “Dude, you know better,” which I appreciate.

So now I’m beginning a rewrite that will drastically restructure the first three chapters, and probably will alter a lot after them.  It’s not going to be easy, but I’ll be in a better position when it’s done and I send it out again.

I’m also still working on The Year of Rage, and also beginning to noodle with another idea.  I like to imagine that all three projects are in a race with each other to see which one will be publishable first.  Meanwhile, several short story ideas I haven’t had time for are seething at their seeming abandonment in the dark recesses of my writer-brain.

The downside to all this is that I am doing that thing where I’d rather be writing/revising than doing my day job.  Teenagers can teach themselves, right?

Excuse me while I laugh all the way to the whiteboard.  Class is starting in thirty seconds.

Still Working; Still Hanging On to The Dream

The new school year has begun, and with it, a concomitant uptick in my stress levels. That said, I am continuing, in both my day job teaching and in my dream job writing, to continue the drafting of The Year of Rage.

When I was a college student, I referred to a lot of my posts on school and the goal of teaching as Secher Nbiw, the Golden Path of the Dune novels.  Now I apply that label to posts about writing.  I may have demoted “being a working writer” from “Definitely Going to Happen” to “I’m working towards it, but it’s still a pipe dream,” but I’m still working on it.

This story is stubborn, though.  Seeking Home took about two years, post Viable Paradise, to complete–I attended VP in 2013, and the novel was completed in August of 2015.  This book is going much slower.  I’ve barely begun, and it’s not working.  I know what needs to happen, I just have a hard time making it work.  I think it’s because a ton of my energy this year has gone to mental and physical health, and not much has remained for creativity.

On the health front, I’m getting used to the new reality in which I have to take four pills every morning.  It’s not that bad, just a tiny bit demoralizing when I realize that this is the reality I live in now.  But since it comes with it a reduced risk of a heart attack, frankly, I’ll take it.

Still, there’s fallout from the scare of a few weeks back.  If I stub my toe and yell out, my family has a momentary panic and wants to make sure I’m okay.  I try to remember it’s just concern and deal with the annoyance, but I’m not always able to let it roll off.

Onward and upward!