About a month or so ago, I backed a Kickstarter campaign where one of the rewards was to have a query letter critiqued by a literary agent.
I realised while going through that critiquing process that Branch wasn’t currently good enough. As soon as you summarise the whole book into a few paragraphs you quickly discover which elements are strongest. I thought it was a love story – but the actual love story I’ve written is quite weak.
I’ve worked out that I could lose my protagonist and still have a compelling book. The real story and tension is actually between two other characters.
In short, I’ve chosen the wrong protagonist.
Which means, all in all, that I’m going to be rewriting Branch over the coming months. It’s painful, because I was hoping to have it much further down the road to publication this year. On the other hand – this is my first novel. I’m told statistically that first novels rarely get published – and probably with good reason.
I’ve toyed with the idea of just putting it away in a drawer somewhere and starting a new one. The truth is, however, that I need to finish Branch – and finish it well – to prove to myself that I am a writer.
Even if it does never get published.