Monday, August 3, 2009

Rewrites and First Drafts

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!


  1. Sounds like your writing is going well. I'm glad. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. Good luck with the short!

    I agree that if you believe "East" is better and you have the passion to keep writing it, it would make sense to focus on that. ;) Plus, it's good you can see which would make a better debut.

    (I've pondered that, too, and narrowed my selection down to two different novels--urban and dark fantasy--and so I think it depends on which one calls to me more to get ready to query about. ;) And I'm rather paranoid about being able to finish so naturally my goal has become 'finish the first three/four books in draft before touching revisions. lol)

    Good to hear you'll come back to "Legend" again sometime. :) I agree, some novels just... seem like they would work better if "written" after you have established a name for yourself. B-) I'm sure you will one day.


  3. Wow! Two projects at the same time! I am having enough troubles trying to get my one project off the ground. I love your title _East of Yesterday_. Beautiful imagery there.

  4. Lauren, I can't. That's why I'm setting aside Forging a Legend for now. And thank you! I'm rather happy with that title as well.

  5. I'm having similar thoughts about my own work. I really like Immigrant Moon, but I'm really eager to move on to my revisions of Hex, which is better plotted than IM...and it's only a first draft. And I also have another first draft I've been trying to work on, but haven't made much progress on because I've been so absorbed in IM. I'm still not ready to give up on IM; I'm about one third of the way through my revision, and I've made a bunch of progress on working out the plot kinks in the last week. So we'll see what happens.

    All in all, I guess that's just the long way of saying I understand exactly what you're saying.

  6. I understand. When I read great stories like Forging and Starcaster and don't see them quickly scooped up makes me wonder what else is out there that is equally fantastic and waiting.
    You need to do what you must to keep up your energy.

  7. Thanks for all the encouragement, Lisa!


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