I wrote yesterday's post in the midst of many strains, including work on a chapter of Drayton that, while working well in some regards, didn't have the right feel. What bothered me about the revised Chapter One wasn't that the work was bad as much as that it wasn't fitting in with the existing book as well as I had hoped. It was becoming apparent that, in order to make this one chapter work, the whole book would have to be revised extensively, and I was not yet comfortable with that notion.
It's not that the book as a whole doesn't needed revision. I'm sure it does. It's just that, whatever its value, whatever its weaknesses and strengths, it does not, I think, need to become an entirely different book. Any revisions should further explore the thing that it is, should iron out as many of the bumps and creases as my talent will allow, should shine light in the corners that are now dark.
And so, mostly on instinct, I have put that revision on hold.
However, I do have a new plan in place. I will continue to market the manuscript as it is, only I will stop sending it to agents and start sending it to independent publishers. The aspects of Drayton that turn off agents--the mixture of literary with genre fiction, the length, the humor--might actually turn out to be strengths when being read by an editor. The only way to find out for sure is to try.
And it is not the end of the fragment recently written. It strikes me that, with a few amendations, it would work as part of the second Drayton novel. That story will intertwine investigations that Drayton performs for a wealthy, reclusive eccentric, a certain C.F. Dudley, with work he performs for a local TV news vixen who is concerned about a stalker.
I think these are the right moves to make, although I have been wrong many times in the past, may be now, and most certainly will be again in the future. All you can do is stumble forward as best you can.