“Prince of this World”: Status Update # 1

To all my patient and loyal current supporters/future fans:

It’s been a long time since I provided an update on how the book was going. In truth, I’ve been embarrassed to admit that it hasn’t been going. The book should have been finished weeks ago, but as I’m coming to learn, even editing a finished manuscript isn’t something that can be rushed, and the process answers to deadlines only when there is a big fat paycheck at the end of it.

But now the rusty gears of my imagination are starting to turn, and I think I finally have what I need to begin again, so here goes:

Unfortunately, I haven’t touched the book in weeks because I let a setback get the better of me. After an insanely productive weekend (seven chapters edited in two days), I hit a wall. More like, I kamikaze’d into a wall. My editor (the one you’ve all heard about, the second one) had always been ruthless and demanding, and I’ve had to make drastic changes to the novel to incorporate her suggestions. But at this particular wall, I found myself unable to continue.

In her own crass, borderline insulting way, she pointed out a completely legitimate plot hole that completely unravelled the remainder of the book. As much as it killed me to admit that in eight years I’d yet to see that particular plot hole, I had to acknowledge that she was absolutely right. There was no way I could continue as I was, overlooking this particular moment and not reworking the rest of the of the book. Essentially, she’d pointed out that there was literally no logic for the plot to continue. Without divulging any of the story, the issue came down to this:

Michael makes a decision that changes his destiny. Up until that point, the entire book has been establishing that if Michael makes this decision, the consequences would destroy the world. By that logic, once Michael makes this decision, the characters who have spent 300 pages trying to steer him away from it should flat out kill him to save the world. A classic example of the good of the one vs. the good of the many. Yet the book continues for another 150 pages after that. So, where is the logic in that?

The answer is: there is none. Not as the plot currently stands. Yet so much happens in those 150 pages that I cannot simply end the book at that point. My task, now, is to rework the entire final act of the book to show a reason that the plot continues beyond Michael’s catastrophic decision. Not terribly difficult, but when you’ve spent eight years reworking and improving upon what is essentially the same exact plot (just better written), it feels like starting from scratch.

I’ve had this new “reason” for the plot to continue for a few weeks. I’ve talked at length about it with some of the people who have already read the book, and we all agree that the solution I’ve come up with is the best. And even better, if I do it right, it’ll shorten that 150 pages down to about 75, bringing me closer to my goal of a 350 page book (that’s about the length of the first Harry Potter, for those of you who just rolled your eyes).

I’ve been sitting on it for a few weeks, too afraid to actually sit down and write, because it does feel like I’m starting from scratch. But as any author will tell you, starting from scratch is always the scariest part. And as the laws of physics will tell you, the book won’t get written if you don’t actually write it.

Hey, at least it’s only the last section of the book, and not the whole thing.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for encouraging. And thanks in advance for buying. I’ll update y’all again when I have something to update you with.

NOTE: “Prince of this World” is NOT the final title of my book. It’s a working title I use to discuss it in a way that’s more specific than just “my book.” The actual title is something that only the few who have read it know, and it’s going to stay that way until publication. “Prince of this World”, however, IS very thematically relevant, and for those of you who don’t know what that name refers to, googling it will give you a pretty good hint as to what the book is about.


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