Friday, 2 September 2016

Breaking Rules

Last weekend was a busy one, starting with a birthday party on the Friday night, followed by archery practice first thing on Saturday morning with a BBQ in the afternoon at a friend's place, with Sunday seeing us at the last short metric club county competition.  So we were both grateful that Monday was a Bank Holiday.

Hence no post last week.  See excuse above.

However, I've been busy writing too and I've just broken one of Heinlein's rules:
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
Well, sort of – I've been gnawing away at the feedback I received from my novel's rejection:
... it aroused some interest, unfortunately it lacked the straightforward narrative...
Though if I'm cutting myself some slack, then this could be interpreted as editorial input to re-write my work.

At one level I'm struggling to interpret what this meant and even emailed asking for a clarification, but I don't expect an answer any time soon.  But I really want to sell my novel.  So something must be done however, however given the parlous state of publishing my options are limited.

I tried one editor from the big five who requested the chance to read my work, but I heard nothing back.  Also, many of the big publishing house will only take submissions through an agent, and I've not had much luck there either.  Though after reading Kristine Katheryn Rusch's blog I think it would be wiser to use a solicitor to negotiate a contract rather than relying on a literary agent.

My other option is to self-publish, which I'm considering, but from what I've read I would need to up my output to generate interest and a sales stream.  Given it has taken me three and a half years to write three novels, two of which are still being edited, I'm not sure how realistic this path is for me.

So, over the last week I've restructured Bad Dog to try and make the story more straightforward, helped in part by reading Jim Butcher's Live Journal blog.  I now have a novel with a Prologue and Epilogue, which I understand is not at all fashionable today.  I've also added a short story as an addendum to the main story, telling the reader what happens to my hero afterwards when she goes for officer training, which I cut from my sequel for pacing reasons.

The plan is to add a new chapter to what Jim Butcher calls the 'Swampy Middle' of the novel, and revise another chapter by re-writing a third person POV from my heroes first person POV instead.  Just getting to this point was a serious chunk of work.

In the meantime I'm progressing on the edits on Strike Dog and considering my options on what I want to do to make it a better novel.  What's frustrating is the amount of time this is taking, but unless I can make more money writing than doing the day job, then I guess it just sucks to be me.

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