Cringey writing

posted in: Various Musings | 0

Let me start this post by saying HOLY COW.  I am a much better writer than I was when I started out indie publishing.  So I want to start this post out by thanking my faithful readers who’ve stood by me all these years despite my shortcomings.  Was I a decent storyteller back then?  I don’t know.  Because I’m going to admit something to you:  I had a bit of an ego.  Part of it was due to education.  Part of it was thanks to traditional publishing success.

But the truth remained:  I had a lot of growing to do.

Case in point:  a book I originally titled Fabric of Night.  I first wrote that book around 2004 and then rewrote it when I began indie publishing in 2011.  But, truth be told, it was rough.  Unpolished.  Not as good as I thought it was.  Back then, I wondered why that story didn’t do as well as some of my other books but I completely understand now.

It wasn’t publishing worthy.

Again, huge thanks to my lovely readers who tried it anyway!!!  The premise was good enough—a woman wakes up on a riverbank with no memory of how she got there.  Actually, with no memory at all.  She’s starting with a blank slate.  The rest of the story involves her getting to know herself again and discovering that maybe she wasn’t such a nice person before losing her memory.  But she has a second chance now, and she’s not going to blow it.  She also figures out that maybe the accident that caused her memory loss was a murder attempt—and she’d better figure out who and why before they try again.

I published the book in 2011, my third book.  The last couple of years I’ve spent rewriting some of my earlier works.  Some of the rewrites I’ve done publicly (all the books in the Small Town Secrets series and the Nicki Sosebee series, for example) and some I’ve done quietly (like when I did a slight rewrite of Tangled Web a couple of months ago).  I’ve discovered through this process that the stories I wrote later were better in that they were more polished, more realistic, etc.

Fabric of Night?  Not so much.

But this is my do over!  As I was rewriting the story, I cringed on occasion—not just at the dialogue but even some of the story elements.  There was even a sentence in the story that left me scratching my head, because one of the words in it made no sense.  I couldn’t even figure out what I’d meant to say—and that’s sad, because I wrote that book, rewrote it, and then edited it, and I still missed that!

Unlike then, however, I now have a team who helps me out.

But I’m also a much better storyteller.  I want you to know I’m saying this as humbly as possible.  Back then, I had a bit of an ego.  It wasn’t justified, mind you, but it was there.  Today, I approach writing without that albatross, realizing that nothing I write will ever be perfect but, if I examine my work without blind pride, I have an easier time spotting what needs to be corrected.

Why am I telling you this?  Well…if you ever tried to read Fabric of Night in the past, I want to assure you that this version is 100,000 times better.  And I can say that with the utmost of confidence.  The main character is more likeable and believable.  The antagonists aren’t drawn with quite as broad a brush.  The dialogue and the situations are less cringey—and I figured out some cool new twists while updating some of the technology in the book. Seriously, who uses answering machines anymore?

I’m proud of this story now, but not like I was before.  I’m not blind this time.  And I’ll have my team tell me if it’s passable or not.  But, in the meantime, I want to tell you about the upcoming Love and Redemption.  It’s everything Fabric wanted to be but wasn’t ready for.  There’s some mystery, some steam, and, of course, redemption.  And, while a chunk of the story actually takes place in Colorado Springs and in the forest west of Winchester, the main character identifies with the small town.  I know you’re going to love this story, especially if you’ve enjoyed the others in the Small Town Secrets series.

This particular story, #8 in the series, is coming the end of September, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

Later this summer, I’ll give you a preview, because I want you to see just how different this story is now.  But for now, I want to thank all of you, my faithful readers, for sticking with me—not just for Bullet and the stories you loved, but even through the not-so-good stories.  I know you’re going to love this one now.

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