Revisions: My Love-Hate Relationship
My YA thriller, Experiment 38, was released 2015 by 4RV Publishing after years of revision. My first attempt at a thriller, I titled my first draft, Emily Always. After attending several writing workshops, I learned that I had written YA, because Emily, my main character, was eighteen.
I did my homework: YA was for teenagers, often involving an adolescent’s search for independence from their parents. Thrillers needed hooks at the end of each chapter and plot twists. And Emily Always was a dull thriller title. I rewrote it as YA, calling it Experiment 47.
Then I joined SCBWI and learned more: SHOWING was good and TELLING was bad. Avoid passives (was, etc.). And Experiment 47 was a bad title for a book about chromosomes, because 47 is the number of chromosomes for Down syndrome and many other chromosomal syndromes. I rewrote it, naming it Experiment 38. (38 is a specific number, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why)
An acquisition editor suggested that I rewrite the first five chapters. Over a six-week period I rewrote them several times. Then she gave me a contract! I was all set. So I thought. The working editor told me to eliminate backstory and start the novel where the story really begins. I cut the first five chapters that I had sweated over for so long and revised the remaining chapters as requested. I thought I was done. A second editor made minor but time consuming suggestions. Then a third editor made more suggestions taking more time. I was almost afraid to ask, but finally I finished.
Yes, I hated the revisions. No, I don’t regret them. I have a book that I love to send to reviewers and submit to contests.
Experiment 38: Eighteen-year-old Emily, small for her age, lives alone with her scientist-father and learns too late that he holds a terrible secret, one that might destroy her life.
As she and her boyfriend, Nate, try to unravel the mystery behind her father’s secret, they face danger and uncertainty.
4RV Publishing: http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/charles-suddeth.php