Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Your Footsteps will be a novel

I've decided that my next project In Your Footsteps will be a novel. I have not written a novel since I finished my 1,000 page plus tome Atlantis Reborn in 2008.
I took a break from writing novels to experiment with shorter fiction and to see if I could improve my writing and get something small published. I think I am a much better writer now than I was in 2008.

I've learnt alot about plotting and characters and I think I have the skills now to write a well plotted, nicely worded novel between 75,000 and 100,000 words long. That is the goldilock's zone people. The perfect sized novel. Atlantis Reborn was too long to get published and while it did have potential (or so I thought at the time) the plot was in shambles, going in two many directions at once, and the characters shit. I tried to do too much at once basically. I had an epic fantasy on my hands. I poured my heart and soul into it for about five years, rewrote it about seven times, but in the end I just had to move onto something else because my passion for the story had fizzled out and I knew in my heart that it was not my best work. I knew I could do better.

I think I will be able to make In Your Footsteps a nice little novel. I do not want it to be huge, but I do not want it to be too short either, so somewhere between 300 and 400 pages long. Deep Embrace is almost a novel. It's about 120 pages long at the moment and has just passed the halfway mark. I am hoping the final draft will be above 40 thousand words which makes it a fantastic little ebook but too short to be sent to a traditional publisher by just a tad. So frustrating!

As flawed as Atlantis was, I actually got a request from a New York agent for it. I'll never forget the rejection I got a few days later though. It said 'I am really disappointed. I was really excited about the idea for your story but your writing let me down. I will have to pass.' SO FRIGGING CLOSE!!!

As rejections go, it was not that bad, the agent had seen potential in my query, which is a good thing, but said my writing needed improving. This was years ago by the way. I have not queried agents since about 2006/2007 maybe. I know I have improved in my writing since then. When I look back at my old stuff it is so bad I have to fight the urge to slap a hand against my forehead and shout 'Ah, ye Gods, it is terrible!' Thank Goddness I had the intelligence to banish Atlantis Reborn so it would never see the light of day again.

Since it takes me about a year to write a project, I should be able to begin writing In Your Footsteps towards the end of this year or early next year, which means it should be done late 2012 or early 2013.

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