The book has no fewer than thirteen point of view characters, and all of their plotlines bounce and bang off one another like that silver sphere and the pinball bumpers. When I first wrote the book twelve years ago, everyone I let read it, hated it.
But I knew the idea was right. I had just executed it wrong.
So, back then, I rewrote it completely from scratch, the new word count topping out at 140,000.
A while ago, I let my agent read it and she suggested it might be a good book from my back catalog of unpublished novels (of which, I have many) to run with next. She also gave me a stack of notes.
They were pretty awesome notes. Those sort of “smack yourself on the head how could I have been so dumb as to not see that” kind of notes.
So I made another run through it and brought the word count to 170,000. Another 10,000 came out in the polish draft when I realized I had completely forgotten to close two character arcs. This is why you want to avoid writing books with thirteen POV characters 🙂
Several people have now read it and everyone thinks it’s my best work to date. What do I think? I have no clue—I’m still way too close to it to be at all objective.
I’m hopin’, though.
For the time being, I am now going to spend a few months honing my craft while writing some short stories. Doing lots of reading about writing, and lots of breaking down of stories I like by authors I love.
Hopefully it will make me better.
After that? Another novel. No idea yet, what, though. Only one thing I know for sure: whatever it is, it will come on well under 100,000 words.