Trapped by Faerylander again.

Faerylander was my first book after coming back to writing. I gave it to a couple of people (hey, Martha) and they came back with sort of a Blah reaction.

Anyway, I always felt it was missing something, so I kept trying to rewrite it.

And rewrite it, and rewrite it, and rewrite it. Every six months or so. In the file, I have 35 versions of the book. Yes, 35. (Some are just rearrangements, more than rewrites.)

All of them seem to be missing something, none of them have really gotten the reaction I want out of readers. 

I've been tempted to give up on it, but there is just something about it. I'm sure there is a good book under that pile of manure!

It's the quintessential quagmire, what I swore I would avoid. In the time I've taken trying to fix it, I could probably have written a couple of perfectly nice books.

What fascinates me about it now is that it has been rewritten and edited so many times that it is by far the most polished writing I've done. If I'm worried about not putting in the work to refine my books, this book is a contradiction to it. Also an example of why over-rewriting might not be such a great idea.

I've had Bren's latest editing on my computer for a year now. She's pretty brutal as well as a task-master. She is also damn good at word choice and such. Enough time has passed that I'm willing to cut large swaths that she recommends I lose.

She recommended that I split the book in two, and when I looked it over, I realized that it really would work better as 3 books.

How exhausting.

Meanwhile, I had Mike Corley do five covers for my projected "Lander" books, and he nailed it. Beautiful covers that simply MUST be used. If not for those covers, I probably would give up.

The other thing that fascinates me about this book is the complexity. I feel like I can work with that complexity, that I can make something interesting with it. I think in trying to make this work I have a chance to really get something better.

I WILL NOT start rewriting until I have a firm plot for at least the first two books. I'm guessing that about 80% of the current book will be used in the first two books, and that the third book will have to be mostly written. (Actually, the idea of writing the third book is much less intimidating than trying to make sense of the first two books).

The biggest problem is using the same McGuffin for the first two books, which isn't possible. Unless I make two versions of the same McGuffin, which is a bit of a cheap trick.

I hadn't planned on it (I never plan on Faerylander--it just grabs me) but I'm going to try to plot the damn books over the next few days, then slap together a rough version, and see if it reads at all.

The way it looks, the first book will be similar to my original version; it will be lighter and slightly more silly, but also have some really creative elements.

The second book will be darker, and since it contains more of the later writing, is probably better written. It will also contain the original sticking point, one that I worked and worked on and which now passes muster if not knocking it out of the ballpark.

If I'm going to self-publish, it probably doesn't really matter how good they are. But I've not taken that attitude up to now and I don't want to start.

Trapped by Faerylander.