Changing My First Book
Interviewing Immortality hit Amazon July 29, 2017. Since then, I have been in a large editing loop with books two through five. As a result, my skills have improved, and I thought it would interest my blog readers to examine what changes I would have made if I were to write that book all over again.
The largest complaint concerns my use of first-person. I suppose this writing format is monotonous. Some readers hate “I did this” and “I did that” in every other sentence. I understand their apprehension, but I felt the type of story demanded a first-person perspective. Essentially, many terrible events happened to one guy, and he needed to say, “This is what I went through.” To me, it seemed natural (and realistic) to make the book in first-person.
The other option would be to begin the story at a different point or tell it from a fresh perspective. “This is what my brother went through.” Another option is to limit first-person accounts. For this blog, I thought about alternative writing methods and concluded that I made the best choice.
Since then, I have honed my techniques for integrating dialogue. My alternative methods flow better and are more accepted. There is no choice, and I would have to incorporate this improved technique. I am planning a revised version that will address this shortcoming.
There are three homonym spelling mistakes. Dang! I hate making silly mistakes, and I know experienced readers also dislike them. The good news is that automated grammar checkers are much better at catching those types of errors.
One of my annoying writing ticks is stating something and then starting it again. “He walked up to the door, opened the door, and walked through the door.” Gahh! Why the heck do I do that?! Interviewing Immortality contains at least 200 sentences that need clipping.
Readers also complained about the ending because I leave them hanging. While I have written a sequel, it is not for sale. Only time is going to fix this problem.
During my editing, I removed 20% to improve the flow. I feel the result is too bland, and there needs to be more insight and descriptions. I think that would have made it a more rounded book.
What about the overall format, plot (logic), characters, and theme? I recall a quote by Michelangelo. The statue was always is in the stone. I only removed the extra bits. The same is true with me. My job was to adequately get my story down on paper. Whether it is a beautiful story is in the beholder's eye.
Overall, I am still proud of my work. I give myself an A- grade. After the revision, it will be a solid A. At least from my perspective…
You’re the best -Bill
January 27, 2021
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