I’ve come to one… well actually, I’ve come to several (not jumped to, either, for a change), but one important one with regards to my first book. Are you ready for it?
It still needs some work…
Yup, you heard it here first, folks… I need to dig back into it and do some major editing. I never thought I would say that; I did, after all, spend ’7′ years writing it in the first place. I should have got it right, shouldn’t I?
But no. There are things that need to be changed. It took me walking away from it for this long to see the (many) weaknesses in the first draft. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty proud of it and it is the primary reason that I was able to knock off my second extended work in a period of 3 weeks. It proved to me that I could do it and now I will never look back.
One of the main things I’ve noticed is that my villains don’t ever become anything more than some dark force out there. While it is true that in series like “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” (the first ones, anyway), the bad guys spend much of the time being talked about in hushed, frightened voices and we see the effects of their henchmen, but we don’t really see them as anything but… some dark force.
In my case, the dark force is never given a name and that seems to be a major difference. I’ve also decided that my villains need to have a form to work in my story, I think.
There are also some weaknesses in how the book begins and I want to build up the characters more so this is likely to become a fairly major overhaul.
Happily, that doesn’t cause me the fear that it did when I first finished it. I remember rushing upstairs to tell my wife that it was finally done. A few minor edits and I could send it out to be published.
I made those few edits and sent the book out into the wild. You may remember me posting about it. I’ve gotten a few rejections for it. I expected that. But I also expected it would eventually find a home.
I just wasn’t ready to look at it with the critical eye that it needed. Now that I have, I realize that it isn’t quite ready. It may never be, but I’m still going to give it a chance, so starting next week, I will begin to tear it apart so I can make it better.
I still think that there is a lot in there worth saving. Those parts that are will remain. The characters will evolve more, a few more baddies will show up and, I hope, a much more compelling story will result.
Only time will tell.
Whatever the result, it will be a great exercise for me to do. I HATE editing with something approaching passion (or mental illness), so I need to get past that or my future work will always suffer too.
Strange as it may sound, I’m looking for to the challenge.