Rewriting Aeropolis Some More

I was lucky enough to be invited to submit Aeropolis to a publisher who doesn’t normally accept submissions from un-agented writers, and my initial partial submission resulted in a request for the entire manuscript! This all happened really quickly, and if that wasn’t enough, I heard from their editor in December.

Unfortunately it wasn’t an acceptance. But it was the most positive feedback that you can imagine, short of actual acceptance. The editor said some very nice things about my writing (I just love it when people do that!) and is prepared to look at anything I write in the future, including a rewrite of Aeropolis, because…

Well, here we get to the less positive bit. She felt that Aeropolis as it stands is not a true young adult (YA) novel, because of the way I had written the lead character Joseph: he comes across as much younger. (Interestingly one of my beta readers now says she missed the part where I give his age, and simply assumed throughout that he was much younger than a teenager!) This is not in itself problematic, except that this particular publisher only does YA, not middle grade.

So I have the choice of trying to find a middle-grade publisher, or rewriting to take advantage of the incredibly valuable opportunity that an “open door” with an editor represents. Since the manuscript is out there already, being considered (I hope!) by various agents, in some sense I am already trying to find another publisher. So how can it harm me to hedge my bets and start the rewrite? It will be a good experience in any event, responding to editorial feedback, and an exercise in technical skill.

So I thought when I started the process. But now that I am actually into the nuts and bolts of the rewriting process, I’m having a lot of fun doing it as well! There is something pleasing about going back to a scene and looking at it from a new angle, trying something different, exercising the awesome authorial power to go for something radically different.

Of course there will be difficult points, hard choices, struggles to make it work. But I’m really happy just to be writing again!