Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Every book is a work in progress.

I'm beginning to understand that until a book is actually at the printers (if ever...) , it's a work in progress.

My goal is to have Led to the Slaughter as good as I can make it.

I recently had a 'professional' offer a one-sentence critique that instantly had me rethinking the beginning -- in a way I hadn't even thought of before, but which obviously made it better.  Basically, it was simply putting the second chapter as the fifth, and the fourth chapter as the second. An easy fix, like I said, but one I hadn't even thought.

Unfortunately, most people you ask for help see the earlier part of the process, instead of the latter.  You show people stuff, and there are things wrong about them and you fix them, but the earlier readers never see the fixing.  Almost by definition, before publishing, everyone will have seen a version that wasn't the final version.

So the danger is that you expose your work too soon.  You may think it's finished, but someone can point something out and you realize, no -- there is more to do.

I'm proud of myself for actually being patient.  I waited until I thought I had written something good enough to put online -- Death of an Immortal.  I think Rule of Vampire is probably even better.  I'm hoping Blood of Gold will be as good as the first two.

Thing is, I also feel like I sometimes need to be impulsive or nothing happens.  I take risk when I'm ready to take risk, not when it makes the most sense.

So my goal is to have have all three books of Vampire Evolution as good as I can make them, and have them edited.  I've pretty much done that so far.

My goal is to completely rewrite Faerylander, and then follow it up with a string of books which are as good as I can make them.

My goal is to make sure that both Sometimes a Dragon and Deviltree are improved and as good as I can make them.

And my goal is to make sure that my Lore fantasy trilogy is completely thought out and finished before I publish them.

Because they are digital, this is all up to me.

Again, I'm kind of proud of myself for not rushing things.  I mentioned to Linda that I wish I'd spent just a little more time on just the last chapter of Death of an Immortal, not that it's bad but that I could have added maybe a couple hundred words.  Also, that I wished that Lara could've worked on it.

Thing is, I didn't really feel that until I pushed to button.  Pushing the button automatically puts the wholw process into a different perspective.  Hard to explain.  And of course, Lara wasn't even around back then.

But with online, I can still adjust things slightly.  I can have Lara do an editing job on an already published book, because it is still all digital.

I've told myself I'll allow one chance at changes, and that I can't change anything substantial, and that it will just be a little cleaning up.  Anything more than that and I'll feel like I've broken faith with the reader.

Meanwhile, while it's true writing a digital book is a trial and error process, publishing a physical book wouldn't be.  Publishing is all or nothing, get one chance.  It's like having a job and getting fired after every mistake.  No way to learn.

What Dwight Newton used to say about the Pulps was -- they learned while they were writing.

So I just have to keep trying to muddle through, with a combination of impulse (or it won't get done) and patience (waiting until it can be done right.)

That last should be my mantra:   Keep trying to muddle through, with a combination of impulse (or it won't get done) and patience (waiting until it can be done right.)

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