Three months ago, I was preparing my novel to present to an agent. Now I am working on yet another revision.
As I worked on my synopses, cover letter, and outline, I realized that my novel was not yet ready.
It was a difficult realization to make. I tried to talk myself out of it. I was procrastinating. I was succumbing to the anxiety of putting my work out there. I was making excuses.
Except I had to face reality. My novel was not ready.
It was challenging to face. I love my story. I have read it over and over and feel in love with it each time. I knew someone else would also. I had to take a step back.
My story was too short. At the time, my novel was only a little over 53,000 words for urban fantasy.
So, I’m not a wordy writer. It is not surprising since I have been writing flash fiction for most of the last ten years. Lines wrote in-between children’s meltdowns and work deadlines.
Eventually, I had to realize that it was more than that. My book was underdeveloped. I knew I did not want to put an underdeveloped book into an agent’s hand. I would be turned down for mistakes that I should have already fixed. I know my book will never be perfect, but I realized it was not even good enough.
I printed out the couple hundred pages. I punched holes in them and put them in a three-ring binder. For the last few months, I have been working on revising the story. I found out I was right. My story was underdeveloped.
My handwritten lines have been transposed back into the computer, and I have already added over 10,000 words. These are not frivolous words. These are necessary words. These are words that should be there to help the story progress. To help the reader connect.
I have not finished. I have completed 3/4 of my book, but these last chapters will need the most development. In the end, my book will be better for it.
One day this book will be in your hands, and I will be thankful that I took the time to make these edits – and the many more revisions left to come.