Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

I suppose most writers fall prey to the same temptation I did last night. (No, not that kind of temptation. Geesh. )

I dragged out an old manuscript. I mean, a really old one. In fact, I wrote it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) back in 2001. Fifty-thousand words in three weeks. Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, the good news is that Sierra's Last Song has its moments. Pacing is quick, dialogue is about 80% tight and natural, setting descriptions are better than I’d have predicted…and the plot? Wow. I mean, I totally wrote this thing on the fly—the ultimate in pantsing. How did I know to drop the hints, the questions, the red herrings that I did?

Only one problem (besides being at least 20,000 words too short for single title).

Um. There’s no conflict between the hero and heroine. Well, in my defense, I didn’t set out to write a romance. More like a mystery with a romantic subplot. The question remains…might it be worth the time and effort to twist it into something I could actually (gulp) sell?

So hard to say.

I read it over last night, stopping to construct a scene-by-scene spreadsheet in case I decided to revamp. Now I’m mulling over how much work and time it might take.

Why would I do this? (Hey, thanks for asking.) I mean, let’s hope it’s not because I think the revamp would be easier than finishing Leftovers (oh, who said that?). The truth is, it occurred to me that the book I’ve sold, Stealing Amy, could use a companion. Especially if I’m gonna go to the trouble of—eek—promoting the hell out of myself to sell it to readers. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a follow-up in the same genre (which Leftovers definitely is not)??

Hm. Decisions, decisions.

Guess I need to put some more thought into what it would take to whip it into shape—y’know, see if the old dog’ll hunt, or if it should just be put out to doggie pasture.


Brooke said...

Well...you know how I feel about this story... but for the record, I'll say it again: I loved what I'd read of it. Maybe now is not the right time to spend working on it, but I hope that it gets another chance someday.

John said...

I would like to feel about the story, but I don't get to read it. You're lucky, Brooke.