I did it, or rather God has blessed me, and I currently have an agent trying to shop This Broken Earth to a couple of publishing houses. I received some very good criticism from the literary agent, criticism that would make for a much better book if I were to tweak here and cut there. My agent has told me that it will be a few weeks before she can get back to me, and is hoping to share some positive news when she does.
In the meantime…
I have copied my novel into two extra files. For the first copy I will spend the next few weeks making all of the changes that they suggested, streamlining the novel so that no unnecessary passages slow down the action. A word of good advice for any writer (of which I had already been taught ages ago in college creative writing classes) is to eliminate all parts of a story that do not further the plot. This means that the characters, voices, actions, etc. that do not contribute valuable plot must be axed or reworked so that they are involved in some kind of subplot that itself does not draw the reader away from the main plot.
The second copy will be something I’m doing just for myself. One of the greatest criticisms I have received about This Broken Earth is that sometimes the multiple first person narrators get kind of confusing for some people. On a marketing level, this could be disastrous. I have decided to do a second treatment of the novel that is in third person singular, keeping the multiple voices through the style of the writing but eliminating the confusion of those multiple voices. The point is that I want even the most base of readers to be able to follow the story or else I have limited my chances of reaching an even wider audience.
Wish me luck.
6 thoughts on “While Waiting On the Agent…I’ll Revise Again…and Again”
Let us know how the transition from first to third person works out. That is a big switch in my mind and has to be a lot of work. I am curious about how easy or hard that would be and whether it would feel like it was worth it.
So far it hasn’t been much of a chore. The fun is figuring out what to axe and what to keep, mostly because on this fresh read I discovered that there were indeed sections of the novel that are showing and not telling.
How exciting! Good luck!
I recommend one more copy of the original work as it stands now. You just never know when you’ll realize you cut something you needed… I keep all major reiteration a of my work going back 15 years now and have been surprised how frequently an older version was helpful. Granted that was technical writing but I hear the same thing from many of my fiction author friends.
Thank you for the advice. I do keep all the versions.
I wish you much luck!