After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, plus an extremely overdue phone conversation with my lovely agent Alanna Ramirez, I/we have decided to shelve SYNTHESIS for the time being.
You may think that, given the amount of time and energy I’ve spent on that manuscript this year, I just might be on the verge of uncontrollable vomiting. And while it does make me a little sick to think that I worked that hard on something that ultimately might never end up in the hands of an editor, well… I’m mostly relieved.
You see, SYNTHESIS has been a struggle almost since its conception in the summer of 2010. While the idea was completely amazing, the execution of the idea was sort of like trying to hold a ferret: it kept wiggling and squirming and biting and trying to get away from me. And a couple of times, it did get away and I ended up running down the street in my bathrobe in the middle of the night, chasing it down and threatening to take away its cell phone.
Figuratively, of course.
Now that the pressure of submission is off, I can see that I never really got hold of who my characters were. I never really had a good handle on the bad guys’ motivations or where the whole thing was headed. I had a general idea, but general ideas aren’t enough. If a book is going to be traditionally published, it needs to have a clear plot, well-defined conflicts, and three-dimensional characters.
I’m not sure SYNTHESIS had any of those, to be honest. And I was pretty sure that once it went on submission, it would not be picked up.
How discouraging would that have been, to send it out thinking, “Eh, nobody’s going to like this.”
So it’s on the shelf, and I’m okay with it. I don’t count the time I spent on it as wasted, because writing takes practice, and trying to finagle my way through that novel was really really really good practice.
The good thing is that now, I can focus all my energy on my new, magical novel. The one I came up with accidentally and am having to restrain myself from pouring into a Word document because, shockingly enough, I want to outline this one first. I’m going to work on it this summer and then, hopefully, we will submit it in early fall.
I love these characters, I love this story, I love this book. And THIS is the one I want to be my debut.