I'm sort of tackling two projects at once, a rewrite of Forging a Legend and the first draft of East of Yesterday. Although I like my rewrite of Forging, I can't help but get the feeling that I've put too much effort into it, and maybe I should just move on . . . for now.
I have a history with this. My first novel was called Oath of the Songsmith. The strange thing about it was that the oath was really not all that earth-shattering, and when he breaks it, he loses his voice, so for a good half of the novel, he isn't a songsmith at all. The rest of the book kind of . . . doesn't make sense just like that. It was my journeyman novel.
I spent ten years writing and rewriting it. It took one agent rejection for me to set it aside.
I don't want to get sucked into that trap again. Although I think Forging a Legend is worlds away better than Oath of the Songsmith, I'm thinking I should just leave it and move on.
Why? Because I think East of Yesterday is worlds away better than Forging a Legend.
I know some of you loved Forging a Legend and don't get me wrong--I love it too. And I'm thrilled that it found readers who loved it. Abriel's story is something I want to finish one day. But I'm coming to a conclusion that I've come to before, and I really need to listen to myself. I think I need to be in a better position as a writer in order to interest a publisher in Forging a Legend. I think I need to "write" this as an established author, rather than have it be my debut novel.
I think East of Yesterday has great potential as a debut novel. It's a standalone novel. The genre of historical fiction has a much wider audience potential than the fantasy genre. And I'm having great fun writing it. As I write it, I have sort of a goofy half-smile plastered on my face at all the situations I'm putting my characters in. I'm tackling difficult subjects, such as racism and segregation in the South. It's almost . . . but not quite . . . literary.
My time constraints do not allow me to work on two novels at once. I'm still in love with the concept and the characters in East of Yesterday, so I need to focus my efforts on it. In a few months, when I hit the inevitable roadblock that I always hit, I'll turn back to Forging a Legend and finish up my rewrites and maybe even enter it into RWA's annual contest. So I'm not setting it aside for good. I'm setting it aside for now.
In other news, I've finally resubmitted my short short, "Under Observation", to another market. I think this story could be "the one" that finally nets me a fiction bio entry. Wish me luck!