I wrote last week about reading the first twenty pages of a graphic novel called Undiscovered Country that had a crazy amount of the same content as the thrust of my recently finished novel first draft. To the point where, if it continued, it would potentially mean drastically or entirely changing my novel before being able to shop it around to any potential publishers.
Well… I sat down after writing that post and continued reading Undiscovered Country, and on literally the next page from where I had left off, it takes a hard left away from where I went with my story. And suffice to stay it stays that way for the remainder of the book. I was fully intending on reading the entire series, but that was a) assuming it continued to mirror my own story so painfully closely, and/or b) that it maintained my interest. As it is, it came short on both counts. I read the first volume but didn’t continue it after that, content in knowing both that it and my story are in fact drastically different, and that my time would be better spent on something else more my speed (as with any book or series not to my tastes).
Having said that, the proverbial shot over the bow of my ship was enough to get me moving. Once I’d confirmed Undiscovered Country and my book were distant cousins at best, I immediately jumped to starting to edit/second draft mine. Delays only increase the chances that the same idea will be done by someone else and published and actually sink my idea, after all. So, high time I got back to it in order to get it back on track toward potential publication.
The initial plan of shelving it for a while in order to forget enough of its detail that I’d be re-reading it with fresher eyes seems to have worked really well. I’ve already tightened up the first “chapter” to help ratchet up the tension that I hadn’t managed to do well enough on the first pass, and have re-worked some parts where I literally didn’t know what I’d been thinking in the first draft.
This is all about logging butt-in-chair time to shape the book into a form I’m happier sending out to beta readers.
Looking forward to it.