I am 3/4 the way through rereading the last draft of Holland Bay. The advantage of leaving it in the drawer is apparent. The last time I seriously looked at this project, I was still too close to it. Now, I’m more than willing to, as Stephen King puts it, “kill your darlings.” It’s also clear that nothing less than a complete rewrite is in order. Scary?
Two years ago, I would have said yes. After all, the original draft checks in at 105,000 words. But a complete rewrite will likely shave more than 10% from that total, which would make it about 94,000 words. If anything, I think it’ll check in at around 90.
So why the sudden push to finish this when I’d convinced myself it was really beyond my skills? A couple of things. One, the whole “it’s beyond my skills” thing is a cop out. Of course, you want to push yourself! Why would you not want to get better? Second, a friend of mine got a new agent. She’s new and building her client list, so I want to get in on the ground floor as well. So I have someone helping me and a goal to push me to the finish.
Now, I know some of you are questioning why I would get an agent when I could self-pub my way to riches. Well, kids, I do love the Kindle revolution. It certainly has opened a lot of doors for a lot of people. But it also is a lot more work than I have time for. Oh, I’ll still continue to release the unpublished Keplers, collection, and the one outlined Kepler that never even made it to rough draft. Why not?
Well, what about the science fiction novel? It’s still on. I’m doing a new outline after I finish the read-through on Holland Bay and make some notes for the rewrite. But that novel will not be by Jim Winter. Nope. I’ve decided my Dick will be writing a novel after all.
I do sort of have a deadline, but again, after my meltdown a couple of years ago, I’m making sure the project is about me, not the other way around. If I get to the point where I’m bend myself around something that’s not rewarding me, then I’ll have to quit altogether.
And things are going far too smoothly in my life of late to be a quitter.