After some very constructive comments in a revise-and-resubmit agent rejection, I’ve started a gigantic thorough revision of Shield & Crocus.
Objectives of MASSIVE EDIT:
1) Re-write all 1st person present chapters into 3rd person past tense. Yikes.
2) Re-write all 3rd person present chapters into 3rd person past tense. Not as bad.
3) Focus on characterization, drawing out the POV character’s thoughts and distinguishing them from the more neutral narration/description
4) Punch up the pacing whenever needed, cutting material that doesn’t both move the plot forward and advance character.
5) If possible, add 5-10K words of enriching description and monologue. This will take the manuscript from 90K to 95 or 100K, which are happier wordcount points for trying to sell the novel. I’ve already written at least 8K of new material, but I’ve cut about 4K of weaker scenes as well.
I’m 338 pages in, with the document currently standing at 446 pages and 94.5K words. I hope to be done with the full re-write by the end of this month. My awesome girlfriend Meg has been my first reader for this re-write, and her input is fantastic. I hope to get a couple of writer friends to read it between now and mid-October so I can make any needed tweaks on pacing or characterization to help it break through for readers.
Ultimately, I want it to be shiny and fully awesomeified by the time I attend the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego at the end of October. That way, I can talk it up to editors and agents when appropriate.
Musical inspiration for the MASSIVE EDIT brought to me by the album “Invincible” by Two Steps From Hell, the soundtrack to the video game Bastion by Darren Korb, and Jonathan Coulton’s new album, “Artificial Heart.”