It was a good post I think. I spoke about what it’s like to receive criticism and how to handle it. I’ll share it here in the next few entries.
Today I thought I would talk a little about what I’m currently working on. It’s a project that I first had a difficult time writing, I wasn’t sure if I could even start the book let alone finish a series of four books.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so let’s go back a bit. I was still working on the Guardians series, just finishing up Obsession, the final book, when a short story was presented to me.
But after weeks of her reassuring me that I can do whatever I like, use as much or as little as I wanted, the characters finally revealed themselves to me. I started writing the first book in the Mechanical Dragons series, Fire&Water. Although difficult to start was easy to finish. The story unfolded in front of me and it was completely different than the one in the short story.
Fast forward a few years and I have just completed the fourth book in the series, Air. It too was a bit of a rough go. I thought I could write the book in thirty days and get it out in time for a Christmas release. Boy was I wrong, so very, very wrong. Sure, I finished it in the thirty days, about fifty thousand words, but the story was lacking, desperately lacking any soul. I rushed it and it felt rushed. I had major doubts about the quality of the book when I sent it to my betas.
The feedback I received only confirmed my doubts about the quality of the work. So I made a few changes and sent it to my editor. Unfortunately, not many of my doubts dissipated and when it came back from my editor. I was certain beyond all reasonable doubt that publishing the book was wrong. It would be a horrible and possibly disastrous idea.
So, I pulled it. I contacted my cover artist at Streetlight Graphics and cancelled the work. I missed that publication date and I felt so relieved and confident in my decision.
The worst thing you could ever do as an Indie Author is rush a publication. But that’s a story for another day.
What I didn’t expect was the huge writer’s block I experienced. I went through the entire beta and editor notes again. I made minor adjustments that did nothing really to add to the story. Every few months I would get an idea for a chapter and write it then become stumped again about where the chapter should go. I struggled for a long time as I tried to patchwork the original story with new chapters.
Four months ago, I decided that enough was enough. I had to push myself through it. I couldn’t go another year, yes year, of this book not getting published. So I pushed, pushed hard and with help from a fellow author and good friend I was able to make progress.
Two weeks ago I decided to trash the original last four chapters. They were starting to become cumbersome at best. I was trying so hard to make them fit that nothing would work. So I deleted them and everything started to flow. I was no longer trying to make things fit and that was the key. I finished the book and sent it to the betas, all 95 thousand words of it! I am proud of the book that I’ve written and was so excited to send it to my betas.
I guess the moral of this story is to always go with your instincts, they’re usually right. Had I went ahead and published the first version of Mechanical Dragons: Air I would be regretting it to this day. It was not my best work and it showed.
Well that’s it, that’s my first post on my own site. I hope I didn’t disappoint and I hope you return to read my future ramblings.