After much procrastination, the rewrite of BOUND FOR GLORY/GLORY BOUND/DEVILS AND DUST has begun. Armed with the suggestions of seven top-flight editors (i.e. the folks who rejected it the first time around), I’ve decided on a course of action to make a character more likeable, events more plausible, ghosts more acceptable, and reunions more realistic. Easier said than done. The first step was to change the title once again. PEOPLE SONG, the new title, will be the fourth, and is actually the title of my short story “People’s Song” published in 1996 that inspired this novel. I wish I could change it to Pat McComick’s lastest, SOLD, which is, of course, what I want to happen.

The most fundamental change is a switch from third person POV to first person. The one consistent complaint from editors (and it was the only consistency) was that the main character, a sixteen-year-old high school student who steals his dead mama’s car, was aloof and unlikeable. I’ve thought of several small scenes that will add more depth to the character, and letting the reader into his head will (hopefully) create more emotional resonance and will let me use some unreliable narrator techniques. How do you make a character more likeable? How do you make a person more likeable?

The name of the main character is also changed, from Bascom to Carter Lee. I never warmed up to the name Bascom. Carter Lee is more apropos to a tall, thin, mullet-wearing redneck, which is who the character is.

Finally, I’ll be adding a major scene at the middle of the second act, when our hero makes to decision to carry on his journey for unselfish, rather than selfish, reasons. No details, except the scene was hatched in Gruhn’s Guitars while looking at “the wall” of antique string instruments.

There’s no timeline for this revision. I’m still waiting to hear back from a couple of houses about SPEED KINGS, so I’ll take it slow. As long as I’m finished with this pass by December 15, I’ll be happy.

And then I can start on YAMABUSHI. Or LOS COLORADOS. I can’t decide. I’ve also decided to turn the DOMINIQUE story into a short YA novel. Maybe that will come next instead.

So many stories, so little time.