Yeah, I’m pretty sure I stole the title of this post from Glee. . . oh well.
So, after finishing my many revisions, including killing approximately 1000 thats in my manuscript, I did a little bit of querying. . . within hours I began receiving rejections. It hit me, hard. For the first time in this whole process, I just got hit with a wall of pain. I received my first rejection, after tailoring these queries specific to the wants and needs of these industry professionals, and felt as though I had been blacklisted. Considering I hadn’t received any responses for the week or so before yesterday, and yesterday I received 7 rejections, I was, to say the least, heartbroken.
It seriously felt as though someone had blackballed me and that me and my project were destined to stay in the slush pile hell that they obviously want us in.
So, I started thinking about this project. I thought about my story, which had originated as something somewhat dark, but paralleling the differences in comic books today and yesterday. It had a believable depressed central character with depth and feelings and pain. There was motivation to move forward because there was something which was going to be lost, something that was going to be gained.
Then I started the selling process, seeing what these agents wanted and hearing what their reasons for rejecting my book were, and I started rewriting. Some of the changes were good, such as getting rid of words I repeated too often, and showing more than telling. Others weren’t.
And then there was the fact that I had changed this somewhat dark tale into a young adult novel. . . Granted, that was my own decision based on what I was seeing the industry (read: agents) wanted, and I had been originally pretty darn happy with the idea. But now that I’ve completed that transition, I realize that I have reached the position I was initially afraid of. My book, instead of being a dark tale of conspiracy and hatred, became a campy Harry Potter rip-off, no longer original or unique, but just something we’ve all read many times now.
I had sold out my project to the highest bidder, and, of course, the worst part is. . . no one wants it.
So, what does this mean, you may ask. . .
Simply put, I’m going back. This book had some big intentions, and they have all but been lost now. No longer will this be some young adult camp fest. This will be the book it’s supposed to be. A tale of the world as it is today, verses the world as we see it from yesterday.
And I’ll do it by publishing myself. I keep reading all these tales about how horrible self publishing is. But, self publishing allows me to be done with the book when it’s done, instead of spending all this time compromising the project so I can sell it. Sure, there will be a great deal of footwork in order to sell it, or at least let people know it exists, but that will be me selling it to the public, to its audience, not some person looking for the best money for their investment. And then I can quickly get back into what I’d prefer to be doing. . . writing.
So, I’m back, yet again, on the revision train, and this one will be huge. I know what needs to be done, and I will dedicate my energies towards rebuilding this project back up to where it was initially, and where it always should have been. And very soon, it will be completed and out to the general public.
Keep your eyes on the shelves.