Well, one week or so in and I already have progress to report.
Craig Hansen, taken by his wife, Andie Hansen
Remember Goal 1?
1) Finish the rewrite on the short story that started out as a Fogland Project submission, which I decided to re-purpose for my own use.
Well, I finished the rewrite and now have the story out to my regular group of trusted beta-readers. We’ll see how long I have to wait for my feedback and what sort of adjustments that feedback inspires, but for now, I’ll reveal that the name of the project is Rose Valley, and I’m hoping to get that out on Amazon yet this month. Yes, I mean April.
So now I’ve moved on in the interim to Goal 2:
2) Do a revision of EyeCU that pleases me, and get the novel prepped for release in the third quarter of this year. I’m looking at you, August-September!
EyeCU has been a fifty-ton albatross around my neck for well over a year now. I let the idea that a small press publisher was interested in the title play with my mind and got super-insecure about the tale, rather than just letting it be fun storytelling. Then when I was asked for changes that basically would have turned the novel into an entirely different creature, that froze me up completely. Only around the turn of the year did I decide enough was enough. I politely pulled my book out of consideration from the small press, and decided to do a fresh, final draft that pleased me… taking the story back to being the one I wanted to tell, rather than the tale the small press wanted me to tell.
So, while I’ll take some of the helpful advice they offered in the “under consideration” process into account with my revision, I’ve decided that from now on, if anyone wants me to tell a different tale than the one I’ve set out to tell, then I’m not gonna hitch my wagon to their “let’s reinvent every bit of your story until it’s what we want it to be” engine anymore.
EyeCU is a long story any way you cut it. My original take on it was just over 100,000 words. I cut that length into the low 70K range during an attempt to please the small press. I imagine after I complete my own personal pass on it, it’ll arrive somewhere in between that range.
The important thing will be to tighten it up, make sure the action is interesting, and try to avoid lags in the storytelling.
The last year-and-a-half have not been wasted, per se. The feedback I received helped me come up with an opening chapter that will better-communicate the sort of tale EyeCU is, right up front, from the word, “Go.”
But when an editor tells you, “I never liked the title anyway… that was NEVER going to be the title,” I’m sorry, but that brings out a bit of the rebel in me.
EyeCU may not be a perfect title, but this is a tale that found its genesis in a core idea, a plot inversion: Most horror movies tell the tale of an innocent person receiving the haunted eyes of a killer and finding their soul corrupted.
EyeCU flips that idea on its head: it’s the tale of a killer who receives the haunted eyes of an innocent and asks what that person’s nightmares might look like.
That’s the tale I want to tell, and cutting away too much of that plot element means I’m no longer telling the tale I want to tell.
EyeCU has always been a working title. It may not be the title I ultimately launch the book with. But, dag-nabbit, it will remain the tale I set out to tell two-and-a-half years ago. It will be a plot-inversion of the old “haunted eyes” tale. Making it something else? Doesn’t interest me.
So, I’m now beginning in earnest the work of doing a final pass on EyeCU. I’ll then entrust it to some beta-readers and editing I trust. And while I hope to have it complete by the end of this quarter or before, I will wait on launching it… actually publishing it, until probably September for marketing reasons. After all, it is a horror tale, and October is arguably going to be the key month for this particular release.
Back to work. Check-in complete.