I finished the third draft of GET CUPID on Friday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s got some issues. Well–it may have some issues. It went from 108,000 words down to a svelte 70,000–just as I’d planned. But anytime you make such drastic changes, it becomes problematic to be able to accurately tell if they were good changes or not. There are some things about the draft that I know are bad. Conflicts that pop up, are emphasized, and then totally forgotten. Characters who are major players at one point, only to all but disappear until the end.
I know the book isn’t ready for primetime yet.
But I also think it’s going to be great when it is. While I changed a lot in the draft, I think it’s a much quicker, snappier book because of it. It’s streamlined in a very good way. But what I really need now is for someone to be able to look at it with an objective eye and iron it out to the point where I’m happy with it.
That someone is me, in this case. I could send it to my agent, but I already know it has issues, and I don’t want to have him stuck with telling me the same things I already know. The key is I need to know how to fix those issues, and for that, it’s really up to me.
So what am I going to do about it? Simple. I’m going to leave it be. Just let it sit on my computer and get a month or two of virtual dust on it–at least. Once I’ve stepped away from it and gotten a bit of distance, I’ll print it out and read the whole thing through fresh. My theory is that through that process, I’ll be able to accurately tell what needs help and what’s already strong. Then I’ll do a fourth draft and send it off to my agent–once I’m at least happy with it myself.
What will I do in the meantime?
First up is a third draft of THE MEMORY THIEF. I heard back from my agents on this one, and they’re happy with it. There’s a couple of parts that need to be more fully fleshed out, and I want to give the book a bit or a trim–10% tightening, really. Some word smithing level stuff. So for that, I’m giving it a fresh read through right now. I don’t think it’ll take much to get it up to snuff. My hope is that it could go out on submission before the end of the year, which would check off that goal. Ironic, that the book I thought I’d end up submitting will be the one sitting around (GET CUPID), while the book I came up with and wrote really quickly will be the one going out. But that’s how it goes with writing sometimes.
After THE MEMORY THIEF, I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I need to write my yearly Christmas short story and newsletter. I might do that while I hit some story ideas back and forth with my agents. I have two or three new book ideas, and I might look through some of my other novels to see if any of them might warrant a revisit. We’ll see. There’s also some slight rumblings of another project that could be really exciting, but nothing more than distant tremors at the moment.
Anyway. That’s the update from here for now. I’ll keep you posted as I find out more.