September 2018 Update

Hi everyone! It’s been another busy month, so let’s get right into it.

“The Gloaming” Update

Earlier in the month, I sent my manuscript to some more beta readers. They gushed over it and said it was flawless and not to change anything. I was ecstatic! But also suspicious. It couldn’t really be ready, could it? Not just like that. Uncertain, I sent it off to another beta reader and set to work writing my first real query letter and synopsis. I managed to get my 173,000-word story down into a 6000 word summary. Then a 3000 word summary. I kept narrowing it down, leaving out subplots when necessary, and managed to narrow it down to a sub-400 word summary. I was proud of myself and rightly so. But at the same time, I came to realise something. Something I’ve known deep down for a while now.

My manuscript is too long.

Not too long for self-publishing, because then you can do whatever you want. But I’ve set my sights on traditional publishing. Why? Marketing and distribution. Publishers have the knowledge, experience, and contacts to get my book into the hands of readers, and they can do it far better than I ever could on my own. But I digress…

My final beta reader of the month came through for me in a major way. She loved the book, too, but she also gave me some excellent advice on how I could fix things, including the gargantuan length.

I’m fairly confident I can cut 30,000 words by removing all subplots bar two, bringing me down to 143,000 words. The remaining two subplots are difficult to cut. The first one has to stay because the main plot can’t be resolved without it. The second is less vital but still important. The last time I tried to cut it out, the whole story fell flat on its face. But hey, we’ll see what happens.

Other Writing

I’ve worked on other projects this month, too. Namely:

  • I edited a bit more of “The Astral Entity”.
  • I rewrote the first chapter of “The Rabbit in the Moon”. I would have achieved more, but there were some teething issues regarding the main character’s “voice” and deciding who my target audience should be.
  • I wrote, edited, and submitted a short story to a literary magazine.
  • I submitted a flash fiction story to another literary magazine.
  • I wrote outlines for two standalone novels set in the Gloaming.

Goals for October

  • Re-draft “The Gloaming” in its entirety, removing and/or replacing some of the major plot lines and filling the inevitable plot holes that arise because of the reconstruction.
  • Rewrite ten more chapters of “The Rabbit in the Moon”.
  • Write, edit, and submit another short story to a SFWA-approved market.

Sincerely,

J. R. Schuyler

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