I thought I’d be done with Target Striker by now.
I started writing the novel last year after three months of preparation and research. I began the first draft on June 15, 2016. I finished it 108 days later. Other novels had taken much longer (almost three years for the previous one) and weren’t very good. This time, I was happy with what I’d written. Target Striker was my best first draft yet.
I hired a freelance editor to critique it, and her response encouraged me. The story had good bones, the protagonist was likeable, the supporting cast well drawn. Her biggest criticism was that the financial fraud subplot didn’t make sense. I realized that it had to go. I’d be done in another three months. Four, tops.
As bad as the fraud subplot was, I’d woven it into the story very tightly. Removing even one scene meant having to change others, which required still more changes. Plus, without the fraud subplot, there was one less red herring for my protagonist to chase. He’s a bright fellow. He would solve the crime by page seventy.
Three months stretched into ten months. Granted, I set it aside for six weeks while I prepared my Agile 2017 presentation, but still. I thought that by now, I’d be pitching it to agents while working on something else.
The good news is that I have gotten some traction. A new first chapter works well, and I’ve come up with a replacement subplot that makes more sense and fits in well with the main plot. I hope to be done by the end of the year.