After several months of mostly banging my head against the wall, I’ve come up with a new version of The Neverland Wars that is about 5,000 words shorter and has a heck of a lot less exposition.
Goodbye exposition. I loved thee well, but as everyone and their sister has pointed out, there’s no reason to world build a world you’re going to leave for Neverland. The original version was chock-full of super realistic fiction and (what I thought were…*cringe*) profound literary observations about the teenage condition. There’s a time and a place for everything though, and a book called THE NEVERLAND WARS is not the place for REAL-PLACE PEACETIME.
It was a traumatic experience for me. I’ve never cut so much out of anything I’ve ever written. When I self-published Conscious, no one poked at me, and I was really luck that my editors over at Mad Scientist Journal loved my prose and wanted the story to stay as-is when they published it. Of course, that was a much shorter, tighter novella that I had to put into five instalments. That was a different ballgame than a 80,000 word young adult fantasy that I’m trying to get into traditional hardback print.
I think the key to succeeding in this industry is going to be destroying my expectations. Not lowering them, just destroying them. I trust that the professionals I encounter will know what’s best even when they tell me that I have to kill my darlings…so I don’t have low expectations, just…I have to assume that a lot of what I love and think is wonderful will disappear before this book sees the light of day, and that’s okay. Find my Buddhist, mindful headspace and when they cut and gut and chop and shop my book people will look at me and ask, “How can it not upset you that it will be cut like that?” And I will answer stoically: “To me, it was already cut.”
I’m much more graceful in my head than I am in real life.
The funny thing is even though I know I got these revisions off and it’s finally off my chest, I know it will be a number of weeks before I even hear back from the agent. So it goes; this is the nature of the
beast industry. I have sent my revisions off, it is in the hands of god the agent now.
Meanwhile, I have just about a million other things to be working on, not the least of which is my beloved Camp NaNoWriMo short story collection.