A Manuscript Transformed

Someone once told me that the first book any author writes will wind up at the bottom of his or her desk, never to see the light of day, or a least not the inside of professional bindings. I was determined to prove that theory wrong. I spent three and a half years after graduating from college writing, editing, editing, editing, editing and editing my first novel. In those years, I managed to cut the book down from 138,000 words to 88,000 words – that’s 50,000 extraneous, useless, absolutely unnecessary words. The story was tight, just the way I’d hoped it would be at the end. I even started sending out my query letter to about seven or eight different agents (no bites, but I’m glad). Then I started to rethink it. This wasn’t going to sell. It wasn’t “up with the times.” It wasn’t even the genre I liked to read any more. So I made a decision, one that would ultimately make or break me as an author, and one that would undoubtedly set my life back a couple of years. I decided to lock my first book in a drawer, figuratively speaking, of course.

I wasn’t quite ready to give up on the world I’d created, so I wound up making extensive alterations to the original book. I changed the genre from magical to dystopian, the audience from  middle grade to teen, the perspective from third person to first person, and I ripped the entire plot to shreds. Most of the characters are still the same, and the setting is only altered due to the new plot restrictions. But now it is a brand new, much much better book. I can’t wait to finish it, not just to publish it, but also to read it myself 🙂

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