When you're stuck, write another novel

So as I was going along with the rewrite, I got an idea for another book and have been writing that in between doing rewrites.

I hate rewrites.  Unlike Khaled Hosseini in a recent WD interview, I don't find rewrites to be fun.  Sure, there's the line-item editing of grammar and repetitive word use I don't mind doing, but when it comes to getting the story I meant to write and having to work within the words I have, it's like a puzzle to me.

The first quarter of the first draft, I cut down to one chapter.  That's about 10K words cut in half.  So I'm either going to have to add book 2 into this to make it a "novel" or turn it into a novella - and nobody publishes those.

I have one month to do the rewrite.  I want it done by Sept 1, and then to start sending it out.  I have two indy presses I'm going to send them to - I just need contacts so that my query letter isn't "Dear Editor."

I'm also trying to put in what genre it is.  How can I simplify "Gay New Adult Urban Fantasy"?

Oh, yes, the other story.

This was the first time that I actually did three different drafts.  I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn't figure out how to say it.  The first draft was the origin story.  Boring and confusing.  The second draft was a little better - I had the time period and the names, but I got stuck.  I was still writing regular heterosexual romance.

Then I said, screw it, bit the bullet, and wrote what I wanted, instead of what would sell.  I could hear the audible "click" when I did, and the words just flowed.  So I'm a gay men's paranormal fiction writer.  A much smaller press, and not too many agents who will represent me.

The story is using men of the zodiac, but not just the Greek zodiac that we know so well.  I went way back in time, to the 5th millennium BC, to the time of Sumer.  There were six  zodiac signs (houses) then.  Gods and demigods walked the earth and paid attention to the people's pleas. 

What if six men were chosen by a god or goddess to embody those signs of the zodiac, to live among men and help them? 

Next I needed to find the god or goddess, and I did - Inana, goddess of love and war.  These men chosen were warriors in their field, and named after animals - except for Aries, who was an "Agrarian worker". 

What if these men existed throughout time, and as they found lovers, they were given those lovers for eternity in the stars (as binary stars) and were replaced over time?  These six signs would have been within Western and Near Eastern Civilization (and Byzantium and Russian Orthodoxy with Inana reflected in the Cult of Mary, but that's another long and boring blog post).

Six signs.  Six books at least.  Twelve if I want to go to the conventional zodiac which comes later.

I could do it.  That first story (Aries), I got almost 14K words in 3 days.  Will they be novellas or novels?  I would like them to be novels.  If I can get another 40K out of this story, then I will be satisfied.

In the meantime, I'm being distracted by the other zodiac signs.  I wrote some of Cancer (3 drafts), a bit of Sagittarius (2 drafts), a touch of Scorpio (first draft) and I tried to start Taurus but it's not going well.  I want to start Taurus from the beginning but that's not working.  I think I'll scrap it and try something else.

If you're interested in seeing some of the story here, I'll be happy to post it, otherwise it's at grimaulkin.com.

The End

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