Step Two: Walk Away

As emotions and ideas continue to whirl around inside me, I realize that it isn’t the best idea to try to take my book any further at the moment.

I had looked into query letters, but they stressed me out. This was mainly because I found out that most agents won’t accept a 300,000-word manuscript from a first-time author. They want something much smaller, no bigger than 150,000 words.

Because of this, I thought about splitting my book into five parts (which is how I have written it) and get them published as individual novellas. I had even thought about putting them online, one by one, to try to build a following.

Then, I wondered if I shouldn’t split my book into a trilogy. That would definitely be easier to sell to an agent. It would also be easier to ask some of my friends to look over. Though, that would involve mixing the five parts of my book together in a way that made sense and didn’t lose the interest of the reader, and that wouldn’t be easy.

Or if I could always keep it as it is.

I didn’t know.

So, at the end of it all, I decided to do nothing.

I figure that the problem is that I’m too close to my story right now. I just spent over a year working on it; the past four months of which I finished up the second draft (putting all my original ideas into a more cohesive story, fixing inconsistencies, and solidifying the characters’ personalities). So, everything is too set in my mind. It’s too hard to make any of the changes that I think might be good. I also worry if those changes are really as good as I might think.

So, yeah, I have decided to do nothing.

I think there’s something to be said for walking away from a project for a while, though. It’ll help me distance myself from all of the characters and plot threads that I know so well. This will help me gain a new perspective on it. It will give me time to re-energize. And I can take the time to calm down and organize my thoughts and emotions.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy to stop. Every day I want to sit down and get back to work on my book. But, I’m going to make sure that I don’t.

In its place I’m going to start working on something else…like a short story. After all, it has been a while since I’ve written something short. And that will definitely be a nice change.

2 thoughts on “Step Two: Walk Away

  1. Michelle Proulx July 15, 2012 / 2:08 pm

    Getting some distance definitely helps. There’s a story I wrote three years ago that I haven’t touched since, and every few weeks I’ll suddenly have this brainwave and be like, “Yes! That would work!” and I write it down so I don’t forget it when I eventually come back to fix the story up.

    Based on the options you presented, however, I would personally choose the 5-part novella. Now, this is just an idea, but what if you self-published them — wait, hear me out — but you put out the first one (or maybe two) completely for free. That way people get hooked on your story, so when you release 3, 4, and 5 at like $0.99 a pop, they feel compelled to buy it. Or, once you’ve released the first two for free, you could offer the entire series in one convenient file for the low price of $3.99, so people don’t have to mess around with multiple files. Or something. πŸ™‚

    • Michael McManamon July 15, 2012 / 2:30 pm

      Haha, that’s exactly what I was thinking of doing (the $0.99 thing and all)!!! I really like the idea of presenting it in short bursts. And I really like the idea of doing it myself. I’m still a bit stuck in the whole idea that I need a publisher, though. I guess that’s something that I’m going to have to figure out (hmmm…new post, maybe?). Thanks so much for your advice. It’s great to hear your opinions. I really, really appreciate them! πŸ˜€ And good luck with that story of yours. My advice: sometimes you just need to accept the story for what it is. Nothing can be perfect. Enjoy it, then move on to something else. You don’t want to deprive the other characters in your head. πŸ™‚ Thanks, again!

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