I'm sending Faerylander: The War Between Cthuhlu and Faery to Lara, my editor, in the next week for a final edit.
She calls it my "problem child." After wrestling with it all day yesterday, I think of it as my "quagmire." I so struggle with it. I started this book 4 years ago. I went off in the wrong direction, tried to correct, made it worse, tried to correct again and made it slightly better. Most of the next 18 or so versions have been slightly better, a few have been much worse.
It has been my "re-acquiring my skills" book.
I've been 1st person and 3rd person. I've been present tense and past tense. I've been breezy and I've been dark. I've had serious horror elements and cute faery elements. There has been some highly polished sections right next to newer less polished sections.
It has fallen into my dreaded "Word Jumble" which is what I call it when I've rewritten something so many times I lose touch. What I've learned by testing, however, is that these word jumble stories are often better received by the readers than the ones I'm totally in tune with. Because by definition they've been re-written so many times.
Thing is -- it's got great characters, and a neat idea, and an nicely invented world.
So I like these characters and this world. I just don't know if I'm introducing them to the world right.
I'm tempted once more to mash them all together for an "author's cut." As disparate as all the elements are, in my fictionalized world, they all happened. (Whatever happens, I may let a few years pass and go ahead an throw up my massive 200K "author's cut" and not care if anyone reads it.)
I've also written two sequels that are as good as anything I've done. But the sequels require that Faerylander actually exist.
This final version is about half the size of the "author's cut." More focused, more serious. I've accentuated the horror elements and de-emphasized the cute Faery elements. There is less extraneous material. I think it has more forward momentum than other versions.
Questions is -- does it have forward momentum enough?
It's not that I don't think it's good enough, it's that I've worked on it so much I can't see it clearly anymore. I can't quite feel it.
Intellectually, I think I've assembled a version that works. But I don't know for sure.
I think it's time to put it out there, and let it do whatever it's going to do.
I'm undecided about self-publishing it, or offering it to my publishers. I've already purchased the first two covers, so there is nothing keeping me from putting it out myself.
On the other hand, as an example of self-publishing, Cyber Flash, my current self-published book just sits there day after day without selling. I like this book, but I've been promoting my other books because ironically, I feel an obligation to my publishers.
I suppose I could send it to Ragnarok and see what they think, and not take offense if they don't like it.
Like I said, it isn't that I don't think it's good -- it's that I can't tell.
I think I'm O.K., because it feels good to be done. It's been nagging at me for a long time. I love the Lander series, and it's time to get them out there.
Good or not, though, it's my first baby (of my second writer's life).
5 days ago