The Rewriting, it BURNS! But oh so good!

So, Seeking Home has met with a lot of agents who liked the premise, but rejected it.  The few who gave Personal rejections almost all said the writing was good but they struggled to connect to the manuscript.

Several Beta readers liked the book, but this recurring problem was troubling.  I thought about just trunking it, but… as one of my friends put it, this book is of my heart.  It’s important to me on several levels, and I can’t just let it go.  Not yet.

So I asked a friend who is VERY good at emotional connection and character motivation to give the first 50 pages a look.  Her comments were, as she put it, “not nice.”

Don’t get me wrong–she wasn’t mean.  She was “kind, but not nice.” Which is what I need.  I need the problems identified.  She did a great job with that, and I think I get why agents aren’t connecting with this story.  She also did it with the perfect mix of humor and “Dude, you know better,” which I appreciate.

So now I’m beginning a rewrite that will drastically restructure the first three chapters, and probably will alter a lot after them.  It’s not going to be easy, but I’ll be in a better position when it’s done and I send it out again.

I’m also still working on The Year of Rage, and also beginning to noodle with another idea.  I like to imagine that all three projects are in a race with each other to see which one will be publishable first.  Meanwhile, several short story ideas I haven’t had time for are seething at their seeming abandonment in the dark recesses of my writer-brain.

The downside to all this is that I am doing that thing where I’d rather be writing/revising than doing my day job.  Teenagers can teach themselves, right?

Excuse me while I laugh all the way to the whiteboard.  Class is starting in thirty seconds.

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a fifth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-six years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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