Denial is more than a river in Egypt

Sorry for the corny post title. I’m starting to evaluate why my novel manuscript was rejected in preparation for revising it. The truth is, parts of it are original and thought-provoking, but parts are outright terrible.

1) I need to spend more time developing my setting and characters. My beta readers told me my characters were appealing, but are they believable? I’m not so sure. And the setting could be more convincing. I’m going to do some mapping out of additional material to flesh things out, plus do a few strategic cuts (or changes) to make each more consistent with their inner logic.

2) It’s too short. Yes, I am a champion of short novels, but this novel is TOO short. I need at least another 12,000 words so the speed isn’t so breakneck. In retrospect, there are plenty of scenes alluded to in conversation or flashback that could be fleshed out so there is more showing and less tell.

3) Parts are too pedantic. I’ve been reading some books which take a similar approach to serious topics (see previous post here), and have recognized that I could write my little sci-fi fable with a little lighter hand.

4) The book doesn’t always convey the exact message I intended. I think I changed my outlook a few times in the process of writing, and it shows. I have to have more focus and consistency.

I’m not really ashamed that my book is less than perfect, but BOY I’m glad I didn’t follow the advice of people who told me to self-publish. At least there are fewer than 10 people who have read the whole thing thus far.

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