After a nap, lunch and a chocolate bar, I saw down with the notes I'd taken about what my beta readers thought I should revise in my novel CL. I knew I had major work to do, since I'd obviously already read through the recommendations and written them down. I'd begun a little brainstorming and thought I had some possible resolutions to some of the problems.
However, as I sat down today to begin what promises to be a long process, I paused, looked at my notes, looked at my story document, looked back to my notes and referenced my mental solutions to the problem.
Well, shit, I said to myself. I should just rewrite the damn thing.
Not the most encouraging thought. I put aside my notes, minimized the novel document and poked around twitter and email for a little, did some browsing on programs to help authors organize novels (and came across Storybook, which I haven't used yet, but is free and could be promising). After I stalled enough, I went back to my story and my notes.
Okay, some parts can be saved. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I think the last half of the novel is better, mostly because it's told in an active voice instead of trying to cover 5 years in under 40,000 words. So, maybe it's not better, it's just more What It Should Be, although I'm not certain about the plot part of that.
Of course, I'm still in the position where half my novel needs to be rewritten and instead of doing that (by the deadline of Nov. 1, no less), I just want to throw my hands in the air and say, “I quit. This one won't be made into a book, fuck it!”
Which is quickly followed by considering how disappointed my brother would be in me and, honestly, how disappointed I'd be in myself. And I don't want to abandon this work. I feel like it has potential. I love Coren (Royce, even though he's the main character, is not my favorite...somehow). I like the world it resides in, although I now see that the world in my head is not the one I put onto paper (another major rewrite).
So what am I going to do?
Honestly, I don't know yet. It won't get abandoned into the ether. It won't get tossed in the garbage. It won't be submitted as is, that's for certain. The question remains, then, is how much editing am I going to do to it? Am I going to hobble together the good pieces, rework and add what needs to be done and then see how it turns out, OR am I going to open a new blank document and start over? I can't imagine doing the latter, although writing that much in 4 months isn't impossible, just terrifying.
Mostly I just needed to write this down—to face my demons, so to speak—before coming to a decision. I hope to make an update tomorrow on where CL is headed.