Saturday, 16 May 2009

Wanderer returns

I have been much absent lately, due mainly to two things, but mostly to my finishing my novel and considering where to try and place it. One editor has seen it, and considers it too short to market successfully. I've already expanded it a little (just a few thousand words), but now I feel a little stuck. Those few thousand words I am confident have improved the manuscript, but they really do feel like the end. It's still a pretty short piece, at just 50,000 words, give or take, but it feels done. Anything more, other than window-dressing (adding, as suggested, a certain amount of local colour to certain scenes), I can't see being able to add without having to create a completely different book.

What I'm interested in, is I know lots of authors out there have lots of finished novels that don't see publication. If you're one of these authors, with a publishing deal and a moderate amount of success, how do you view those past novels? Do you feel any of them are sitting there waiting to be picked up and dusted down (see David Mitchell's Black Swan Green as a for instance), or have you moved on; are they old news? (Roger Morris sounds like he has hundreds of completed manuscripts just hanging around intimidating the elderly neighbours).

Oh, I've also spent the past five months or so working on this, which has just gone live. Nice to finally have something out in front of the crowd at least.


Aliya Whiteley said...

For me, there's never been a point at which it's easy to leave an unsuccessful project behind. But as time goes by I see more clearly where I made the mistakes. So it becomes a case of choosing to fix the mistakes (and that could take an awfully long time) or deciding to leave it alone and move on. Even the books that are published are not immune to that feeling of 'I can fix this'.

Tim Stretton said...

I have a tendency to overvalue my work, and I still think there's an audience for my two self-pubs before The Dog of the North, although one of them could use a polish.

I've never given up hope of seeing them in print, even if I'm not actively pursuing them.

Dr Ian Hocking said...

Interesting post, Neil. Besides the three (kill me now) books I've got actively in circulation, there's one book I wrote two or three years ago that I very proud of called Proper Job. It's a comedy, and all my friends think it's hilarious - then again, they would say that. I had two editors say it was hilarious too but thought the market for humour was too small. Of all the books I'm considering putting out as self-published volumes, that'll be the one most likely to go that route.