Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Week in Writing #268 - Lots of Rewrites

I've never been one to shy away from rewrites and, in fact, that's my favorite part of the writing process. This past week, I continued my work on Broken People and it's a good thing, too. I found where I had used the exact same passage in two places in the book, no doubt, the error from my previous rewrite on the book.

This book has gone through various rewrites in the past, the first being with my disappeared editor on Familiar Stranger. He had been slow back then but I don't remember so much radio silence in the past. Then, it was called Killer Blog, which was a sort of title that sounded okay but really meant nothing. It's not like a killer blog was a real thing but at the time, I liked it. I did query the book around and almost got somewhere with it.

An agency put me in touch with one of their editors and she gave me some feedback on it. I did find when going through it with her that there was some garbage stuff in the manuscript. Apparently, some time after my work with my editor the manuscript had gotten corrupted and things that I thought were there weren't and there was some real nonsense text in it as well. However, this isn't what she was pointing out to me.

After I completed that rewrite, I resubmitted it to the agency again and, of course, got nowhere fast. I was rejected there and other places with one female agent even calling it misogynistic, which frankly hurt and I felt was misguided. There is sex in the book, not graphic and the man, who is the protagonist, does describe the woman he's involved with but he also describes everyone he meets in some detail.

I rewrote it again, changing the name to Personal and Professional but got again, nowhere fast. I let it sit after a round of rejections. I started to look at it again because of a recent news story, not a couple of years old. There apparently was a couple, a doctor and his girlfriend, who would get women drunk and/or drugged and shoot video of them having sex with her. Now, there was something already similar in the book. My protagonist is a private detective and one of his clients in the book is a former news anchor who had appeared in a sex video.

In the earliest versions, that part was based on another news story in which an anchor went on vacation, got drunk and entered a wet t-shirt contest. She apparently wanted to win so bad that she stripped naked, or close to it, to win. Unbeknownst to her, they were recording the event and it got out and she lost her job as a result.

I had changed that to her being in a sex video while on vacation with her husband. A couple got her drunk and had their way with her and recorded it. That seemed rather out there until I heard about the couple in Newport Beach doing the same thing. So, I decided to take a new look at the book and I changed the name as I went. There was a song on the radio by Lovelytheband, called Broken, which I liked and thought one of the attractions between my hero and the former news reporter, was that she thought he was broken like her.

I thought I had done a pretty good rewrite but after getting nowhere with my few queries, I decided to go through it again and have been spending as much time on it the last few weeks before I resubmit it for querying. So far, none of the ones I've sent have gotten even a nibble, not even the online queries. I think the 6 weeks, if not two months, have passed so I'm calling them rejected.

I even took some time to rewrite the query letter, trying to concentrate on what I thought was the best parts of my previous one and pointing out that it is a character-driven murder mystery and trying to downplay some of the big city corruption that is also part of the story.

Work on the rewrite continues. I think it will take a couple of more weeks before I'm done and then it's back to the query cycle. They say you only have to impress one, right?

When that's done, I will go back again to see if the Familiar Stranger editor is still alive and find out what the f- happened. I may not be a patient person but I don't like to give up either.

In addition to the work on the book, I also completed a future review for Trophy Unlocked. This is a short film called Employee's Entrance, which was on TCM recently. I had started to watch it one morning while flipping channels and decided to record it along with several others so I could possibly review them later.

I also published on Saturday, The Fly, my second review for October and Trophy Unlocked's annual review of horror movies during the month.

Not a whole lot happened on Powers Squared this week. No new pages, though we did get a nice mention from our colorist on Instagram. Trevor did letter four pages so he's caught up for now.

Paul and I did our 54th video on YouTube on Sunday and our seventh podcast on Friday night in our effort to promote the comic book.

Well, that just about does it for this week. More rewrites and hopefully a new review. Keep writing. I'll see you next week.

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