How logical is it to temporarily abandon all the WIPs I should be working on to revise and republish a novel I wrote four years ago? A novel that has sold very few copies. Not very logical. But who said writers are always logical? Privileged Lives and Other Lies is one of those close-to-the-writer’s-heart novels that ‘s completely ignored by readers. A darling, that if the writer has any sense, should be killed. I’d guess every writer has at least one of those. They’re usually works that make you cringe when you look back at them — badly written or just an incredibly bad idea, but still sopping up the writer’s affection.
But the idea behind Privileged Lives is a good one. It’s science fiction with a lot of interesting themes running through it. And rereading it after four years, I have to say it isn’t that badly written. Not great, but not too bad. I can say that objectively because I have such a bad memory that coming back to it after so long means that I read it almost as a stranger would. Did I really write that? I don’t remember that part at all. That scene is really well done.
But… It’s been a bomb, and at least one of the reasons is its terrible cover, one of the very first I designed, all on my own. My not knowing much about categories didn’t help it much, either. Come to find out, thanks to Dusk Peterson, that it would fit perfectly in the Young Adult category.
But what about the writing? More typos than I would allow these days, even if it isn’t a hideous number. In spite of being 94,000 words long, there are plot points that need more development, including background, and a few not-too-serious continuity problems that would trip up a careful reader. Worst of all, the last chapter is skinny, and I can see why one reviewer said the book ended too abruptly. Bottom line: it’s a decent novel that could be a good novel.
So that’s my goal: turn my poor, neglected decent novel into a good, maybe even an excellent one. I’ve learned a lot in four years, maybe enough to save my darling from oblivion.