Please excuse me while I do a little happy dance, because the first draft for my next novel, Sons of Sludge, is finally complete.
You may recall a little post I made back in May, in which I came to the depressing realization that the already 50,000+ words I had typed up had to be scrapped, in a favor of a more (I think) successful direction and restructuring. Well, put those 50,000+ words alongside the recently completely 95,000+ word rewritten first draft, and you can safely bet I've had my fill of young adult Hybrid Reanimate literature composition.
Don't get me wrong - I love the story, and I think you will too, but it just feels like I've been grinding away at it for too long. Like... like being stuck in a room... with a person, who's... who's just...
Damn it. I can't even come up with a good simile/metaphor. I'm too mentally exhausted to pull it off.
But rest assured, this novel will see the light of day. The decision to overhaul the story will pay off in the editing process, because I'll have better material to work with. A higher quality of clay for my potter's wheel (Metaphor: Nailed it!). The first proofreading go-around will take the longest, with some chapter restructuring, plothole seeking and destroying, and the usual spelling, grammar and punctuation corrections. But even then, it shouldn't take too long. The third and fourth drafts will come even faster.
After the proofreading comes the most dreaded task: searching for literary representation. The manufactured query emails, the tedious contact list scanning, the inevitable impersonal rejections (or more often than not, no reply at all). I hate it. Every author does.
I had no such luck finding an agent to represent Float, but perhaps the premise was a little too obscure, a little too unbankable for an unpublished author. Sons of Sludge definitely has more marketing potential, but I'm still not too optimistic. Like with Float, if I can't find any success with traditional publishing, I will undoubtedly lose my patience and put it up independently on Amazon. Books are meant to be read, not sitting in a desk or on a hard drive, waiting for a deal that will never come.
Also, I feel I must clear the air about something, as a handful of people have brought a certain upcoming film based off of a book to my attention. I knew they would before they even did, as I became aware of said creative work shortly after starting to write my own story. Let me clarify:
Warm Bodies has an undead main character who craves human flesh. So does my book. This protagonist develops feelings for a human girl. So does mine.
The similarities stop there.
Zombies have become so pervasive in our pop culture over the last ten years that a zombie protagonist grappling with the traces of his/her/its remaining humanity was inevitable. My novel isn't the first, and it won't be the last. I don't claim that any of my work - past, present or future - is completely one-of-a-kind, and I don't mind sharing with other authors who have vaguely similar concepts. We all work with the same culture and human experiences. Are we good? Good.
With that out of the way, it's now time for more shameless self-promotion. As Christmas has just passed, some of you may know friends or family members who have recently been gifted a new Kindle, iPad, smartphone, etc. In light of this I am starting another free download campaign on Amazon for Float, effective Saturday and Sunday (29th and 30th). Spread the word, make some reading eyes happy.
Have a Happy New Year, and await my next update on Sons of Sludge with bated breath.