Today I’ve been hit by a crippling bout of nostalgia. I’m coming down with a curious temptation to return to a manuscript long left dormant and try and salvage what was very nearly my first published work. A few years ago I wrote a novel titled Renegade, a tale of murder and mayhem that almost drove me insane. The story was told from the duel perspectives of a killer and the police officer leading the hunt to find him, and was one of the most enjoyable pieces of work I have ever completed. Or at least it was, the first time I wrote it.
I was only about nineteen years old when I completed the first draft of Renegade, and with my youth came a state of naivety. I assumed that the first draft of my manuscript would be strong enough to navigate the proverbial slush pile of scripts saturating the desks of publishers and agents throughout the industry. But after a few knockbacks I took to rewriting the story and editing the absolute shit out of it. From there I started to see some improvements, and I started to progress ever so slowly through the initial stages of securing an agent for my work.
But with these minor successes came the need to edit again and again. The agency that I was in contact with asked for another rewrite on the manuscript and I begrudgingly obliged time and time again, until I found myself crying in the wardrobe one night and decided that enough was enough. Renegade was complete; I had edited the fucking thing to the point where I couldn’t bear to look at it anymore. Thankfully my agency agreed that the editing side of things was complete. They were finally happy to take on the manuscript and present it to the world. Shortly after I received a contract from a publishing company and thought that I had finally made it as an author… Unfortunately the deal fell through and I was left right back where I started, without a publisher or an agent to represent my work.
From there I started approaching publishers direct, and nearly found a home for Renegade with an Australian publishing house, before failing to progress through the final stages of the selection process. My work was praised for its construction, but much to my dismay the publishing house suggested that I make a few edits; that I rewrite sections of the script to improve its overall marketability. And in my infinite stupidity I decided against following their suggestions and chose to simply abandon the script altogether.
It wasn’t until a few years later during a university lecture that I learned a very valuable lesson; publishers don’t often give out feedback on a script. And if they do, it means that they believe in the work and you should just make the fucking changes to please them. After all, they are the ones who are potentially financing your dreams.
So now years later, as I sit on my hands and await some feedback on the Midas script that is still half a world away, I have to contend with a case of nostalgia for the novel that never was. While I would love to devote the time and effort required to resurrect Renegade and see it put into print, I feel that right now I’m not in the right headspace to reopen Pandora’s Box just yet. Instead I’ll keep toiling away on the follow up to Midas and the love story that I have been trying to develop. I’ll eventually return to Renegade one day, and when I do I know that I will be able to turn what I have into something fantastic. But sadly, today is just not that day.
On a side note, I am involved in the 2013 Best Australian Blogs competition. If you would like to vote for me in the people’s choice awards, just click on the big button below. As always, I promise to be in touch very soon.