Children of a Broken Sky

I started writing this book eleven years ago, but the setting has been a place I've known since I was ten years old.  It was my first major writing project and stretched through the entirety of the aughts.

It grew to unmanageable lengths; first to 100,000 words, then 200,000 and beyond.  (For the uninitiated: that's way too long.)  I made some modest cuts, trimming the last quarter or so of the book and pushing it into a second book, leaving me with a 160,000 word novel.  I then revised, taking the book to work with me and spending my lunch hours revising and rewriting.  The process took about a year.

After getting decent but lukewarm feedback from a set of beta readers, I revised again.  I sent this third revision to agents in a querying process that lasted another year.  I got a couple nibbles but no bites.  In retrospect, I do believe that's because the book was not as good as it could be.  After spending two years in revision, I didn't want to admit it, but the truth was that it needed another round of revisions - and not just basic editing revisions, but deep, structural revisions.

I set it aside and worked on Alex.  After that, I wrote Rebecca.  I wasn't sure if or when I'd be coming back to Children.  

But it wouldn't let me go.  It's a great story, and one I've always wanted to tell.  Ideas started coming to me, piece by piece.  Enough time passed (two years) that I had distance from the work and could assess it more neutrally.  Finally, earlier this year, I dove back in.

I've learned a lot about writing in the 11 years since I started this novel.  I feel like maybe, finally, on the fourth revision in as many years, I can hope to do it justice.  This summer, you can tell me whether I'm right.