I heard back from one of my content editors. I haven’t gone through all her comments on Sentinels of Mysera yet, but her initial overview was that she was neutral about the story. She neither loved nor hated it, but she had a tough time caring about the story.
Well, at least it was easier to swallow than the critique I mentioned in The Best Writing Critique I Ever Got, but it still wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Not by a long shot.
Now, it’s possible that my type of book just isn’t her thing and that’s okay. You can’t be what everyone wants to read. It’s still a bit of a blow to the old ego.
I’ve got another editor still going through the Tales of Mysera stories and Sentinels of Mysera, so I’m not planning on going through the first editor’s notes until I’ve got both sets in front of me.
Then I have a choice to make.
Does SoM get another major revision? Or is the story a lost cause?
The biggest problem I have with scrapping SoM is that it’s the first of a series and I’ve already written 6 rough drafts for almost the rest of the series, not to mention 3 books that are spin-offs from the main series. What happens to the sequels if the first book gets tossed? Twelve years of my life have been poured into writing this series. I love the world and I love the characters.
I guess I have a third option that is somewhere in between the umpteenth revision and the burn pile. I could write a new first book. I’ve had that suggested to me before. I don’t feel that the sequels will mean the same without the foundation of the first book behind them. The relationships that are established between the characters in the first book are important to their interactions later. I’ve pondered the need for a different first book, but I’ve yet to come up with anything that would be better than what I’ve got already.
My first attempts at revision have been difficult. Sentinels of Mysera has been my guinea pig in learning how to revise and each time I’ve tried, I’ve become more convinced that I should have taken Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel course the first time and saved myself a lot of headache.
Well, Sentinels of Mysera is going to continue cooling on the back burner while I wait on the other editor. To keep myself focusing forward, I’m starting on revisions for SoM‘s sequel, Battle of the Bargaws. My goal for the rest of the week is to do the read-through and make the new plot cards for this revision.
Any authors out there got any good advice for the struggles with a first book? Have you ever had to scrap a project?