Head —> Wall, Repeat.

Posted on 15/01/2013 by

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So lately I’ve been suffering from this urge to rewrite Path. I mean, really, I’ve been thinking about it on and off since last August when I met Lovely Agent Jen and talked with her about the book. Partly this is because I always find talking things out with a new person to be a brilliant way of clarifying what’s lurking in my back brain. And partly it’s because she said something about it that was totally left field and left me staggering for footing, muttering, Er, what?

So it turns out Jen belongs to an agency I’d approached previously, but she wasn’t the agent I addressed my query to because while the type of thing and sense of humour she’s looking for suits my work perfectly, she trends toward middle grade stuff. Which is relevant because although she does work in YA too, based off what she read of my book before that first meeting she thought it should, in fact, be middle grade.

Er, what?

After I was done with the initial crogglement I sat down and thought about it and came to the slightly disturbing conclusion that the opening really can be read that way.

Still. I really don’t think the story I’m telling is middle grade. I think I could write a different book starting off in that same place that was middle grade. But this isn’t that book. And if the opening feels that way that’s more a reason to rework the opening than to rework the body of the text.*

And I looked at the opening, and I rewound the thoughts I’d just drawn into my forebrain about the structure and I thought: Maybe it’s not two books. Maybe it’s one book. And maybe that one book is the one I just finished writing.

And then I… well, I did accidentally slit my wrist, but not in a life threatening way. More in a ‘perhaps I should band-aid that before I get ichor on my shirt’ kind of way. (Which really just goes to show you shouldn’t have alarming thoughts about writing while holding sharp paper, it only ends in symbolically ridiculous paper cuts.)

I’m not sure that I’m right about this just yet but I have the uncomfortable feeling that I am — that the book I spent four months splitting into two books should really just be one. Which… Head —> Wall, Repeat. Seriously.

Six panels of a comic, showing a young character composing on his computer and then taking the document to his supervisor for feedback and then returning to his computer. The captions beneath each are the title of the document at each iteration: FINAL.doc!; FINAL_rev.2.doc; FINAL_rev.6.COMMENTS.doc; FINAL_rev.8.COMMENTS5.CORRECTIONS.doc; FINAL_rev.18.COMMENTS7.corrections9.MORE.30.doc; FINAL_rev.22.COMMENTS49.CORRECTIONS10#@$%WHYDIDICOMETOGRADSCHOOL????.doc

* Which, incidentally, GAH. I am so paranoid about that part of the book and Jen like crazy loved it. Which is enormously reassuring, but then now I’m thinking about nigh on trashing it. So.