I am 16 pages from finishing a seven-month revision of my YA sci-fi/fantasy novel. and plan to wrap it up today or tomorrow. This is draft 13. It’s been through a round of revisions with a smart and savvy agent and had feedback from another. My beta readers are within 40 pages of the end. I plan to begin submitting again this month.
Which brings us to SIBSL. This is my tenth finished novel? Is that right? Falcon’s Way, Mr. Touchdown, Redbone, Peace I Ask of Thee, Oh River, Grannynapping, Reply All, Meditations of an Animist, Elementary Murder, The Abyss Begins at Main Street, and now The Snow Lion, not to mention three screenplays: Transfer Station, Long’s Peak and Never Touched Her. As deep as my dreams are for this new novel, I cannot say anything about it without the verbal knocking on wood of saying SIBSL.
This is especially true of this novel because it is designed to be the first of a series. When I discuss it with my readers I say things like, “Well, that will be further developed in the second (or third) book, SIBSL.” Or, “Well that could be spun off into a little extra materials feature on my Web site or online, SIBSL.”
Arrogance is justly punished and arrogant people plumped up with hubris have never met the concept of SIBSL. They’ve not had the knocks and the crushing disappointments and the realization that what you’ve written actually pretty much sucks and reflects very little of what was glittering in your head. They’ve not racked up the piles of rejections. But they’ve also not had the thrill of occasionally getting an award, or having a reading, or even a nice, personal rejection when they were sure they wouldn’t and are almost unbearably happy when that happens. They are poorer for it though I envy confidence.
So I am still hopeful that this time IWBSL. Which in itself is an open invitation for the universe to come and crush me one more time.
8. 1Q84,Haruki Murakami
4-7. His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Naomi Novik
3. The World that Made New Orleans, Ned Sublette
2. Where Things Come Back, John Corey Whaley
1. Legend, Marie Lu
1-2. Phineas Redux, The Prime Minister, Anthony Trollope