I figured it out.
I said I would stop trying to salvage what I thought needed to be deleted, which was more than 30 000 of revised and beta-reader approved words, and just re-write.
30 000 words !
Of approved words !
Nope. Couldn’t do it. Not after all those years, all that hard work.
I’m freelancer paid to write, I’ve studied literature and creative writing for 6 years, NO WAY I could have been that incredibly clueless about that story.
It was stressing me out to no end.
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about it.
Either I was so deeply wrong about the story, I might as well quit writing because « hello ».
Or something was wrong with the way I was approaching the « how to fix » the subplots extravaganza.
In other words, maybe I was having a very strong case of revision melt-down.
Waking up from a depressing dream in the middle of the night, I came around to realize that I was having a complete drama-queen meltdown.
I went back reading the new outline and, thank heavens and hells, it got me thinking about the first story decisions I made, why I made those story decisions, why those decisions made the story better.
The new outline went bye-bye pretty quickly. I kept only one or two things and did the sensible thing to do, the thing I would have done in the first place, if I’d taken some time off to think things through instead of jumping right into drama mode, saying « it’s all crap, I need to start over ».
FIX the gaps, FIX the feeling of subplots overload.
Away from the standard word count
And I’m at 58K words. Happy, joyful words. I have 4 full chapters to write before I can call it « the end ».
Yep, this looks less and less like a standard middle-grade novel. I’ll keep writing as plan, see what the final word count.
Then, and only then, I will give the manuscript to beta-readers, maybe even a professional editor.
I want this book to be stand-alone, buuuuuut, considering my peculiar small francophone bubble book market and book marketing strategy worked before, it might actually work to divide the book in a Part 1, Part 2 thing.
The sale price for each part of the book would be lower, always a good thing since everybody’s budget is tight. And, here’s hoping, there’s the possibility of creating a buzz « waiting for part 2 » thing. If of course, Part 1 take off as projected.
Writing this middle-grade novel has been an honest-to-the-core adventure for me, and it keeps surprises me, challenging me. It started as a funky gateway out of my boring to the soul office job to a full-on real writing project.
It keeps bringing a smile to my face… if not every time I work on it, pretty often nevertheless.
With those beautiful thoughts in mind, I better get back to it now or otherwise, I will call it a night and watch some Bob Ross action on Netflix.
Thanks so much for reading, dear writer friends.