For those following my Twitter feed, you may have noticed that my updates on where I was at with various chapters had stopped. The reason is I’d reached an important benchmark.
A note on editing: Part of the revision process involves beta readers and editors. The editor suggested something that scared me if I’m being honest. We discussed changing the main character’s arc. This required some extensive rewrites and several polishing drafts. This is where I’m extremely weak. I’m the most impatient person I, or anyone who knows me, know. I hate editing. I write a book so that I can write another book, and then another. So any time anyone so much as recommends a tweak, I’m already grumpy. This time around, I’ve done a much better job of being patient. Rushing a low-quality book to you all is just going to disappoint you, so I made the commitment to make those revisions and a few others.
Once I reached the half-way point and got the main character to where he needs to be, I wanted to get a few opinions on it. Quintessential Editor was more than happy to take a look and provide feedback. So what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks is going over the first half of the book and addressing whatever notes my betas brought up. I’ve just finished those tweaks, and now I can move on to the second half of the book knowing I’ve made these corrections, and these corrections have made the book more compelling and more satisfying.
Now that I’ve finished with the adjustment of the main character, I think edits will go by more quickly. There’s still a bit more I have to address which will slow me down at times. I may also have to add a chapter or two, but I think I can realistically expect to release Caught this fall as promised. I’m still aiming for September, but I won’t rush.
I thought this gave an opportunity for me to talk about revisions and keep you all in the loop because this process has always been fascinating to me. Our work is an extension of ourselves. Pouring our heart and soul into what we’re doing makes us very sensitive to anyone saying something wasn’t quite right or satisfying. What matters is the story though. It’s up to me as an artist to tell the story accurately in the best way possible. By accurate, I mean true to the character.
That’s what made these revisions so challenging because I was concerned that the character would be forced to go in a direction he wouldn’t go. I’ve very careful about not making a change just because someone says it would make the book more successful. If the character wouldn’t do something, I wouldn’t have him do something just because someone said it would help the book sell.
For this main character, it wasn’t so much about making him do something he wouldn’t, it was allowing him to feel and react to what he’d been going through. Adversity shapes us, and it shapes our characters, so when Sal was put in this awful position, I needed to give him the chance to react and grow. Ultimately I feel you all will be pleased with the final product.
I’m still impatient. I hate the idea of delays. I’m not done with Caught, I haven’t started Sojourn in Despair, and I’m stuck half-way through the discovery draft of Images of Truth. When you’re an accomplishment driven individual, a bunch of half-finished projects is pretty much hell. The way I get through this is to remember how much I hate poorly done projects. I’m crafting the best book I can, and I’ll release it as soon as possible. You deserve that much.
So I’ll keep you in the loop as I finish revisions. I have a bit more to do with artwork before I can begin the publishing process. Until then, as always…
Thanks for reading