I needed to hear that!

I’ve spent the last month+ going over my first Gladstone Shifters novel with a fine tooth comb. The book was published over two years ago and I’ve learned a great deal since then. A number of issues needed attention, including a re-arrangement of the opening chapters, a thorough search for crutch words, and the correction of wordy sentences and unclear phrasing.

It’s been a frustrating slog, taking much longer than I ever thought it would – not surprising for a manuscript of over 110,000 words! The good news is, I’m almost done! The bad news is, I’m not finished yet! My next novel is nattering away at my writer brain to GET STARTED ALREADY.

One of the discouraging things about this process is that realistically, very few readers will notice anything different after weeks of hard work and significant improvements. So why go to all the trouble? Is it worth it? Wouldn’t my time be better spent on the next book in the series, rather than fixing book one? As I’m sure you’ve guessed, nagging doubts and questions don’t improve motivation!

In the midst of all this, I ran across a wonderful passage in scripture I hadn’t noticed before, and found it incredibly encouraging.

“For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food.” Job 34:3

Isn’t that great? When people read my stories, they test/taste the words, parsing out the various flavors and meanings. The effort to improve my book hasn’t been wasted at all! Rather, it will leave future readers with an even better sensory experience than before. After all, enjoying the dish doesn’t require knowing the recipe.

Even so, as soon as I finish the current project, I intend to get busy writing book four (rather than fixing book two in the series). Since my readers aren’t complaining, I can start that project down the road when I don’t feel so pressed for time. When it’s all said and done my stories won’t be perfect, but they’ll be the best I can make them.






2 responses to “I needed to hear that!”

  1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

    I think being able to “fix” small things like sentence/paragraph/even chapter structure in already published material is one of the huge strengths of self-publishing. You of course don’t want to change things that will cause readers confusion later in the series, but improving quality is *improving quality*. Old readers might not notice, but I bet new readers are more likely to stay with you once you hook them.

    Anyway, good luck! I’m sure you’ll do great.

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      Exactly! Can you imagine trying to do this with a printed book and a traditional publisher? Yikes!
      I’m all for getting new readers hooked on my books. I have read posts by authors who advise never going back to fix anything – just keep writing and improving. That may work for someone who’s been at it for years and has a large backlist. Some of my other books could use a re-do, but I simply don’t have the time. I am making a choice to leave those as-is so I can write new material. Thanks for your encouraging words!

I'd love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: