I reread The Dead Rise this week.
The plan was: clean it up, polish it to a fine gloss, put it out on the Kindle. Maybe, if it was really good, try to pass it along to agents again.
Back up five years: July, 2008. I wanted to write a book, but I didn't know how to begin. I'd just written Noisome Beasts, which was sort of a very long short story. Inspiration struck, and I spent a couple of weeks throwing together a short novella. No planning. No structure. I just sort of started wherever and ended when I felt like it.
When I finished, I thought it was pretty good.
So I sent it out to a few agents; I actually heard back from a couple of them. They told me that it was way, way too short.
I spent a couple of months beefing up the novella, and when I was done, I sent it out again. I heard back from another agent who read the whole thing and told me that it just wasn't ready for prime time.
I benched the book. Sat on it and worked on a few other things. Five years later...
The agent was SO right! The Dead Rise is uneven and clunky. The main character spouts out exposition and lays out every thought in his head. He's self-absorbed and narcissistic. At the time I wrote it, I thought that was unique. It wasn't. It might have the potential to be, except:
Nothing happens! I mean, little things happen here and there, but I gave zero shits about them. I just felt embarrassed by the whole thing.
But I got excited, because I think that I can fix this. I think I can make this interesting; maybe even good. No promises. The Dead Rise has a really exciting premise; I want to do more with it. I screwed up a lot of stuff because this was practice; every book is practice; and this was my first non-jokey book.
I'm working on an outline for version three. Over the next few months, I plan on rewriting 90% of The Dead Rise. When I'm finished, we'll see where we are.
Not that anyone's holding their breath, but no new Kindle books in 2013 :-)