A long time ago my wife and I began work on a novel called “Lady and the Necromancer (LATN).” It is an urban fantasy about a girl who falls in love with a monster–but a monster who isn’t a vampire. It was also a story of redemption. In 2005 I decided to get serious about writing and finished the book, as well as several others. LATN went on a two-year sojourn at Baen where it landed a very nice rejection letter. Only recently did I decide to feed it to my critique group, and as a result of the insights I gained the story was reborn.
It has been re-imagined, a lot like the Battlestar Galactica series was (except I didn’t change the gender of any characters). Almost everything that happens in the story is the same–except the book ends sooner and not on a downer. The word count moved from 120k to about 95k, nearly an optimal length for this genre. The story also changed from being “Haunted Mansion” scary and kind of cute to being (I think) genuinely creepy.
At the end of the story, the romance is still in its early stages, but the main protagonist, Thomasina Berkeley, is a different girl. The story is now about her discovery of who (and what) she is. Last night around midnight I finished the re-editing process and am still bathing in that “just finished a novel” afterglow. It’s time to get the critiques, to write synopses, clean the rec room, and generally come back down to earth.