What's with your book?" Any author on submission understands that this simple question from concerned friends and family is like a knife to the back of your head.
No, I am not being dramatic.
The Sea Sheller's Daughter went out on submission and was roundly kicked back out officially in May. And while deeply disappointed, I kept my crap together. Each thoughtful rejection came with a glimmer of hope, my writing was good, the story was good.... but... something wasn't enough.
Are you freaking kidding me?
However, life doesn't offer a lot of do-over opportunities. Writing, selling, and publishing this book has kept me awake at night, locked me away from my family, and feels as if it's part of my destiny. That should be enough, but alas, not even close.
Okay, I'll revise. Certainly not the first time. What I expected to be a gentle plot modification turned into a book lobotomy when I changed a main character's point of view from 3rd person to 1st.
This was painful. It changed my story. It changed how the story was told, but it also changed the perceived flaw, a lack of emotional connection between the characters. I needed them to be more touchy-feely, working their shit out. What I wanted was for them to duke it out.
Yet, the first person switch allowed the newly lobotomized character to become more biting, over the top critical and selfish - she is one of my favorite characters!
Point of view is one of the first decisions authors need to make when telling a story. I had a solid reason for telling her story in 3rd and I hope for the chance to try it again, with another book.
I'm trying not to make the same mistake twice, to learn from the amazing beta readers, editors, and my agent. To make the most of my do-over and I hope fulfill my destiny - even if that is a little dramatic.