I did it, or rather God has blessed me, and I currently have an agent trying to shop This Broken Earth to a couple of publishing houses. I received some very good criticism from the literary agent, criticism that would make for a much better book if I were to tweak here and cut there. My agent has told me that it will be a few weeks before she can get back to me, and is hoping to share some positive news when she does.
In the meantime…
I have copied my novel into two extra files. For the first copy I will spend the next few weeks making all of the changes that they suggested, streamlining the novel so that no unnecessary passages slow down the action. A word of good advice for any writer (of which I had already been taught ages ago in college creative writing classes) is to eliminate all parts of a story that do not further the plot. This means that the characters, voices, actions, etc. that do not contribute valuable plot must be axed or reworked so that they are involved in some kind of subplot that itself does not draw the reader away from the main plot.
The second copy will be something I’m doing just for myself. One of the greatest criticisms I have received about This Broken Earth is that sometimes the multiple first person narrators get kind of confusing for some people. On a marketing level, this could be disastrous. I have decided to do a second treatment of the novel that is in third person singular, keeping the multiple voices through the style of the writing but eliminating the confusion of those multiple voices. The point is that I want even the most base of readers to be able to follow the story or else I have limited my chances of reaching an even wider audience.
Wish me luck.