You Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em

I finished the read through of GET CUPID earlier this week. There are parts of that book that are flat out awesome. The characters are lots of fun, the tone and voice are jumping and funny. The magic is intriguing.

And the plot is a train wreck.

That’s perhaps being a tad harsh. It’s not a train wreck. It’s more of a long journey with some fun friends who have no clue where they’re going and aren’t in any real rush to arrive. Some friends who make random stops along the way. Which is fun for a while, but when you signed up for a direct route, it can get pretty maddening after a while.


I’m faced with a difficult decision. I can try and do a fourth massive revision of GET CUPID. And that was my first instinct. To fix it. To make it better, darn it! I’ve spent over a year on that book, and giving up on it would just make that year feel like a complete waste, writing-wise. So I tried to figure out what I would do to salvage it. The first chapter was great. Second chapter started to go awry. Third chapter would have to go. Maybe the middle three chapters are gone. Rewrite the finale . . . The more I listed things that needed to change, the more I looked at that list and said, “Nope!”

And so that’s what I’ve decided. Nope nope nope. Not rewriting that book. Not again. Not right now.

Am I giving up on it completely? No. Because some of the hardest part of writing for me is figuring out characters and developing a strong main voice. I’ve got that done here. All I need to do is transfer them into a new plot. In this case, it’s going to be a prequel to the book I wrote. GET CUPID takes place in the main character’s senior year of high school. The new book is going to be his freshman year. It’ll be more Harry Potter-esque, in that it’ll be a “school book” far more than GET CUPID. I sat down last night and started hashing out conflicts and coming up with new and exciting heists and con jobs.

Moving the book to freshman year also does something interesting to the plot: it moves it out of young adult and right into middle grade. Which is okay by me, but will take a bit of tweaking and getting used to.

The good news is that I’m excited to write the new book, and that’s key when you’re sitting down to the keyboard. GET CUPID is done. Finished. It remains the 10th full novel I finished, and nothing will change that. It’s just I’m now working on my twelfth book, and it happens to be the first prequel I’ve done. The year and a half I spent writing and revising the original wasn’t wasted time–it was time getting ready for this next book.

Because sometimes that’s just what you have to accept as a writer.

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