Not a whole lot of time today (too busy trying to dig out from the pile of Work Still to be Done), but I figured I'd give you all an update on what I'm working on right now, writing-wise. Over my vacation, I had the chance to have a long talk with an agent about my writing. (Yes, the agent I've been waiting to hear back from for so long.) It was a no on Pawn of the Dead, alas--for a variety of reasons. His critique of the book was, like his others, fairly deep--meaning that the problems he identified were much more than surface level fixes. He concluded that it wasn't really fair of him to ask for a rewrite of the book, since that might not be the best use of my time. I already have a new book plotted out and ready to write, and I was tempted to just dive into that and see how things looked after I finished it.
I'm not going to do that.
This is the third or fourth time I've gotten suggestions from this agent on such a deep level. Each other time, I've just written a new book. This time, I'm actually going to try to rewrite the old book. At the same time, I'm sticking to my guns and continuing to shop the old book around (as well as two other of my books). I no longer have the desire to pin all my hopes on one "yes," but I also want to be listening to the critiques I'm getting. The rewrite to this book will be extensive enough that I don't think it'll look much like its current form once I'm done rewriting, which makes me feel confident that I could shop both around at the same time, if I decide to.
Plus, I've got some really good ideas that were spawned by his critiques--ideas that I think could make the book much stronger. In a lot of my works, I've tried to fuse a humorous tone with a macabre tone--and I don't think I ever pull it off as well as I need to. In this rewrite, I'm going to try to embrace the humor. Go for wacky zany fun and see what happens. I've already worked out a new magic system for the book, as well as a new villain. The setting and most of the characters will stay the same, as will the voice. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. It will be something different, at any rate--and I want to keep trying different things so that I keep getting better as a writer.
Anyway--that's what I'll be up to for the next while. I'll try to keep you updated as I go. Right now, I'm working on hammering out the new plot.
Wish me luck.