So, readers, the critiques of the current working draft of Anagama came back- or rather, one did- and the verdict is that it needs a fair bit of work. As in, it may need elements and entire subplots to be dismantled and revised, the pacing is off, and a fair number of characters need to be reworked or omitted.
I’m actually pleased with this verdict- it’s much more useful than “Oh, it’s fine.” I wasn’t sure how well the book held together as a work of fiction, since I’ve been working on it off and on (mostly off) for nearly two decades, I finished it very quickly, and I knew it must have problems in consequence. While it’s always galling to realize one has made errors or fallen into the clutches of cliché, it’s better to have someone point this out before you try to publish or widely distribute something- not afterward.
I’d hoped to have Angama ready to distribute to friends and family by Easter, but barring me getting a few weeks of unexpected vacation and bursts of creative energy, this won’t be possible- so the timeline for this work being ready to distribute has changed. Now I’m hoping to have it done sometime in 2016- I won’t say when, because I don’t want to rush again and produce another disappointing work. Possibly by the end of the summer, possibly by Christmas. It really doesn’t matter, honestly, because I don’t have a contract.
This elongated time frame gives me some time to recover from the recent bouts of illness I’ve had which have launched so many odd ideas which, in the fullness of time, may eventually become books. I’d hoped to start work on one of those (working title Hypnagogia) after Easter, but I think maybe I should take the time to let the ideas settle and disconnect from me a bit more so I can actually write them down (and be able to evaluate them carefully) without causing myself undue stress.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my first (and so far only, alas) critic, who shall remain anonymous, for his help in this- it is extremely valuable help, as I trust his judgement and taste. It’s always a struggle for me to find the time and energy to work on my writing, but with help and perserverance I hope to have this second novel reworked, finished and polished sometime in 2016.