?

Should I publish my book or continue to re-write?

  1. Publish

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Re-write

    3 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. DABIGDAWG018
    Offline

    DABIGDAWG018 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0

    Newbie in the room with a major dilemma

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DABIGDAWG018, Aug 13, 2015.

    Hello, all. I'm going to get right to it, I'm having more than a bit of a dilemma and I sure could use some help from fellow writers. OK, here goes...

    So about ten years ago I wrote a book. I was 19, just turning 20. It was at a time when I still had a tremendous passion for writing. I had been doing it since third grade, I was a journalism major, blah, blah, blah, the details will bore you. Anyway, it was a YA novel, about 50,000 words. I went through the whole trying to get it published thing and, no surprise, I was rejected by like 25 publishers. Never went the agent route, though. I tried for about year or two before I finally gave up and moved on with my life. I switched my major from journalism to education for some other reasons, and I eventually became a teacher (which I still currently am). The book has been collecting dust in the form of a computer file buried deep in my laptop, and has been for a decade. A couple months ago, I rediscovered it.

    As I re-read it, I obviously saw why it was rejected. The writing style and plot read like something a 19-year old would write. It was decent, hardly great. Certainly not good enough to publish. Since I was on summer break from teaching, I decided to try to perform some cosmetic surgery on the book. I have spent the last month and a half rewriting, updating, and changing major parts of the book. It's now at 60,000 words. The novel reads MUCH better (the difference between a 30-year old writer and a 20-year old one), but the plot still needs major work, not something that can be fixed in a month. I feel like I would almost have to sit down and basically re-write the book, to get it to a standard I would be truly happy with.

    So here's the dilemma. The novel as it stands right now I think is decent, on the verge of being pretty good. Let's say a 5 or 6 out of 10. If someone were to read it, the reaction would probably be, "eh, it's okay." But it's not nearly dramatic or interesting enough. But after a decade of sitting in the back of my computer, I want this book published, and I was planning to go the self-publishing route. Writing 60,000 words is a hell of an accomplishment, which will never be recognized if it stays a file in my laptop. I want to be a published author, and it would be a damn shame if I did all of this work, then and now, and the novel never sees the light of day. But I'm not totally happy with the finished product, I know it can be much better. My other option is to keep writing. In such an event, I can obviously do some great things to the book to make it more interesting. However, I fear that the book will remain unpublished for another ten years, especially with the busy life a 30-year old leads, between family, career, and working toward a graduate degree. I don't have the time to dedicate myself to a re-write like I did a decade ago. Please help, everyone. All thoughts and opinions are welcome (short of telling me to drop dead or something). Thanks!
     
  2. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    How certain do you think it would be another ten years? If very certain, then it might be more important to have it out there as you say. But to consider, in hours, how much time it would take to finish, given that you can daydream stuff while you're commuting, etc., it might be possible to finish sooner and reap greater reward.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  3. DABIGDAWG018
    Offline

    DABIGDAWG018 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello, all. I'm going to get right to it, I'm having more than a bit of a dilemma and I sure could use some help from fellow writers. OK, here goes...

    So about ten years ago I wrote a book. I was 19, just turning 20. It was at a time when I still had a tremendous passion for writing. I had been doing it since third grade, I was a journalism major, blah, blah, blah, the details will bore you. Anyway, it was a YA novel, about 50,000 words. I went through the whole trying to get it published thing and, no surprise, I was rejected by like 25 publishers. Never went the agent route, though. I tried for about year or two before I finally gave up and moved on with my life. I switched my major from journalism to education for some other reasons, and I eventually became a teacher (which I still currently am). The book has been collecting dust in the form of a computer file buried deep in my laptop, and has been for a decade. A couple months ago, I rediscovered it.

    As I re-read it, I obviously saw why it was rejected. The writing style and plot read like something a 19-year old would write. It was decent, hardly great. Certainly not good enough to publish. Since I was on summer break from teaching, I decided to try to perform some cosmetic surgery on the book. I have spent the last month and a half rewriting, updating, and changing major parts of the book. It's now at 60,000 words. The novel reads MUCH better (the difference between a 30-year old writer and a 20-year old one), but the plot still needs major work, not something that can be fixed in a month. I feel like I would almost have to sit down and basically re-write the book, to get it to a standard I would be truly happy with.

    So here's the dilemma. The novel as it stands right now I think is decent, on the verge of being pretty good. Let's say a 5 or 6 out of 10. If someone were to read it, the reaction would probably be, "eh, it's okay." But it's not nearly dramatic or interesting enough. But after a decade of sitting in the back of my computer, I want this book published, and I was planning to go the self-publishing route. Writing 60,000 words is a hell of an accomplishment, which will never be recognized if it stays a file in my laptop. I want to be a published author, and it would be a damn shame if I did all of this work, then and now, and the novel never sees the light of day. But I'm not totally happy with the finished product, I know it can be much better. My other option is to keep writing. In such an event, I can obviously do some great things to the book to make it more interesting. However, I fear that the book will remain unpublished for another ten years, especially with the busy life a 30-year old leads, between family, career, and working toward a graduate degree. I don't have the time to dedicate myself to a re-write like I did a decade ago. Please help, everyone. All thoughts and opinions are welcome (short of telling me to drop dead or something). Thanks!
     
  4. AspiringNovelist
    Offline

    AspiringNovelist Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Gulf Coast
    Hi Dab,

    Self-publishing is perfectly fine. (It's the marketing afterwards that will kill you). I do suggest however, with your current career and future goals in mind that you make it the best self-published book it can be. Possibly think of using a pseudonym. There are cautionary tales on self-publishing, mainly imprint houses that draw you in for 199.00 then up sale (sometimes) into the thousands. I would suggest you self-publish all the way -- do your own e-book conversion, amazon hosting, marketing, etc. But, I wouldn't suggest you publish without first having a good editor give it a once through (it makes all the difference in the world).

    Read this forum: http://www.writingforums.org/publishing/self-publishing/

    When you have enough clout on this forum, you can always post a excerpt in the workshop, we have some very good critique writers on board. In fact, head over to Workshop / Novels and take a look.

    Good Luck
     
  5. nippy818
    Offline

    nippy818 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    colorado
    Go for it. You will never know unless you try. A rewrite is difficult. I am on my second draft and more than once I have ended the night deleting everything and drinking more then I intended to. The key to everything is sacrifice. I work 60 hours a week as a mechanic, and when I get home after a 12 hour shift, the last thing on my mind is writing. That's the thing though, if the passion is there, you will make the sacrifice, whether its sleep, another hobby, or that couple of hours of T.V. Each night. I will write 2200 words a day, I will force myself into my writing nook with my cocktail and music and zone out the world. I am not saying this is the same for you. I don't have kids, or a wife. An understanding girlfriend and a bottle of whiskey. but if you can commit even an hour a night, you can do it.
     
  6. DABIGDAWG018
    Offline

    DABIGDAWG018 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the response. A decade might be an exaggeration but it would at least be another year or two. I won't have time to touch it much once the school year starts, beyond pecking at it for maybe an hour or two a week. I would probably have to wait until next summer to get a little more time. If I don't finish it by the end of next summer, then I will basically be in the same situation all over again, not having time once the school year starts.
     
  7. dreamersky1212
    Offline

    dreamersky1212 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    New York (State Not City)
    Here's the thing, only you know the answer to your question.
    I too wrote a novel in college. I used it as my honors thesis and then tried to get it published. I was rejected, sometimes kindly, sometimes not. So, I gave up and got a day job. I decided that writing was a pipe dream and I needed to grow up and join the working adults. I did so for five years.

    Almost a month ago now, I realized that I had not just given up on my book, but on me. I am one of those writers that needs to write or I feel like I am not being true to myself. I have reread my first novel and discovered that, yeah, it kind of sucks. I decided that my first novel will never be published. Not because I couldn't rewrite it into something decent, but because I don't want to. It was what I needed to write when I needed to write it. It showed me that I could write a whole book and that I had the potential to be a good writer.

    So, the reason for my story is that it is a very personal decision which no one could answer but you. Do you really want this story out there? Is it about giving something to the world or just a justification of the effort that you put into it? If you feel that this is a story that could be great and that you feel should be shared, then take however long you need to take to get it in the best condition you can make it and publish. If its just the idea of it going to waste, then you have to decide if it is really the story or you wanting to write at all that we are discussing here.
     
    peachalulu likes this.
  8. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    Okay, the problem is becoming more clear since you have to jump back into it each time. That is a dilemma. My first thought, though, is whether it's possible to squeeze more time through the school year, like giving up some t.v. or other recreation since it sounds like you're fairly close in terms of getting a draft to a beta reader or editor. Ironing out the plot points might not take that long, but then again, I really can't say.

    ETA: Sorry, as I wrote that, I forgot you're also doing grad school, so sounds like a full plate and lots of reading and writing as it is, especially if you teach social science and humanities. Hmm, tough circumstance.
     
  9. DABIGDAWG018
    Offline

    DABIGDAWG018 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, you have given me a hell of a lot to think about and I really appreciate the comment. Our stories are very similar. I think what hit home the most was when you said you had not just given up on the book, but on yourself. It used to be that not a day went by that I didn't write something. But you know how it is when you grow up, life takes over and you can't (or maybe choose not to) do the things you used to. I'm a writer at heart, always have been. I've forgotten that, but I think you just reminded me.

    To answer your question, I do think it's a story with a good message. Basically, it's about self-confidence, liking and being comfortable with who you are. It's something that, over the years as a teacher, I have seen a lot of my students struggle with. It's something that I struggled with as a kid. I think the message of the book gets out loud and clear, it's the plot of the book that's weak. So I definitely want the book out there for the story and the message. But I want it out there for myself just as much. The idea of 60,000 words staying in my computer forever is hard to swallow, which I know is kind of selfish but it's how I feel. I'm just afraid that if I don't publish now, I won't publish this or any other book for a long time. A hell of a lot to think about...
     
  10. Tenderiser
    Offline

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,284
    Likes Received:
    5,154
    Location:
    London, UK
    Imagine how you would feel if you had self-published that book 10 years ago, forgotten about it, and had now rediscovered it. And along with realising everything that wasn't good about, you saw that 10,000 people had downloaded and read it. That's where you could be in another 10 years if you do publish.
     
  11. Song
    Offline

    Song Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Hearts in China, Heads in the UK
    Welcome to the forum :superhello:
    I voted re-write. You only scored it a 5 and you yourself said it could do with a re-write. So do your story justice and give it a lick of paint.
     

Share This Page