I am revising my 1st book, Discovery, in order to change how it is marketed, and hopefully, published. If you’re interested, you can follow my journal of the progress on my other blog, Just Me.

I wasn’t going to post anything more about it here, but I just discovered something striking while editing. Writing is how I learn to express myself. How I learn to craft the stories into something akin to art is via editing. Edit, edit, edit, edit. If you think you’re finished, it’s only because you have reached the limits of your skills. There is always more to learn and more to apply once you’ve mastered it.

That being said, today I realized where I struggle with books I’ve written or read. Each chapter is like a short story. Just as the start of a book is important, so is the start of each chapter. If I can connect the two points — not with plot or character but with feeling or emotive tenor — then I pull the reader fluidly from one chapter to the next.

In Discovery, Chapter 9 ends with a brief, but poignant event concerning an elderly lady. It is emotional, especially for the characters. The next chapter explains what is going on inside, and needs to make the emotional connection — in fact, it needs to ramp it up. This is where the book fell short before.

Here’s the old section at the start of Chapter 10:

With her eyes closed, she could hear Charlie chattering excitedly, and Abraham — she was the only one who got away with calling him that — was whistling softly.

And here’s the new text:

With her eyes shut, she was flooded with sensation. The aroma of chicken wafted delectably across the lobby, even washing away the tang of disinfectants and excreta. There would be leftovers, there always were, and the ladies were salivating in expectation. Mrs. Habersham was smacking her lips the way she did when eating. Above that sound, Mary could hear Charlie chattering excitedly, and Abraham—she was the only one who got away with calling him that—was whistling a soft melody.

Same scene, same events, but now, we are deeper in Mary’s head. That’s where we need to be, because I’m about to take you inside a dark place no one but her has ever been. You can’t just leap from an old-folks home to a nightmare fugue without making those little connections.

I’m actually excited about this project now, even if my Angel was the one who convinced me to take it on. I hope people read Discovery and then read the revised (renamed) book. I think the differences with be subtle, but worth the 2nd read.

14 thoughts on “Re-Discovery

  1. cecilia says:

    What I love about you is that you strive..forging ahead all the time.. while we all sit in the peanut gallery trying to work up the courage to even try.. blessings to your angel. c

  2. Rufus Girard says:

    Fascinating insight into your process. I know you have written deeply like this before, but each time you re-visit a work, there is always something new brought to the table. Persistence, is the key. r

    1. Bill Jones, Jr. says:

      No FU’s. 🙂

      Thanks. I usually have adverbs as placeholders. Stephen King replaces his with 100 or so words. 😉 I often just hit the delete key. This one I missed.

      1. Arkenaten says:

        It’s these little things that I miss all the bloody time too. It is a real bitch, especially after one has ‘finished’.

        Trying to read work with fresh eyes after laboring for so long is almost an impossibility at times.

        Couple this with the natural insecurities over whether we have done a good enough job ( whatever that means) and the endless tinkering, I’d reckon as much time is spent on editing and procrastination as there is on the actual writing of the book.

          1. Arkenaten says:

            Writing, fun. Editing,work. Marketing,(self) nightmare.

            How to get all three on the same positive wavelength?

            This is where you should ask Marie (maybe?) to write reviews for you, maybe? Going back to that critique/ criticism thing.

            If she’s inclined it would be a valuable and willing source.
            Create a Book Page on her blog or some such.
            Just putting it out there.

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