Rescuing An Old Friend…

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Janelle Becker Books, The Writing Life

As interested as I am in finding more and more material to publish, yesterday I picked up the first manuscript I ever finished and dusted it off, and took a look.

It’s called The Coppersmith, and it’s a psycho-thriller. A religiously oriented sociopath is systematically murdering church pastors in Upstate New York. His methods keep changing, and his hunting grounds are a mystery. The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit sends in Special Agent Janelle Becker to solve the mystery and catch this madman before he strikes again, but can she unravel the puzzle of the Coppersmith before her own family falls prey?

I was actually quite surprised by what I found. Aside from the massive overwriting, the story itself is still pretty good. It needs some work here and there, and some stuff should be cut altogether. Other parts require a bit of rewriting, but the core of the story is solid.

Last night, while working, I was able to sit with the manuscript and a red pen, going through it page by page, line by line, and hacking it to shreds. It’s a little like excavating something, or completing a half finished sculpture. Of course, it helped that the intranet was down, and I didn’t have access to any of my current WIP’s (otherwise, I’d have knuckled down and worked on them, of course), so there really wasn’t much else to do (if you’re wondering how why I could do this at work instead of, say, working, then let me propose that working with disabled adults is not a constant, on-the-go activity. When half of them are sitting in the living room and they just want to watch Wipe-Out, while the rest are in their beds already ’cause they’re early risers, it’s okay to sit there with a book and a pen).

I figure I’ve gotten about a quarter to a third of the way through it, and my hope is that, with a few day’s worth of effort, I’ll be able to breathe new life into The Coppersmith and independently publish it.

Now if only I could figure out some suitable cover art…

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