My First Second Edition
Five years ago, I published my first book, Interviewing Immortality. Since that amazing event, a few people read it and offered praise. This positive energy felt great, and I cherish every single compliment. However, a few readers discovered errors and suggested improvements.
I planned to update this book in the distant future, but the pile of mistakes was too big to ignore. So, two weeks ago, I started editing a second edition. Most updates focused on dialog integration, which is the supporting words surrounding a character’s spoken words. Since I wrote Interviewing Immortality, I have learned better techniques and the result are more readable. In addition, I trimmed flowery descriptions to improve the flow. I also corrected fundamental typos and clarified sections. However, I did not add or change the story because I respected my original work despite the plot flaws.
My first pass was messy. I moved sentences, added dialog support and fixed many errors. I also clarified and deleted unnecessary junk. When I finished the pass, the results looked good. The original story still holds up, and the problems were not as bad as I feared. However, I uncovered some large errors that my readers failed to point out.
My second pass used Prowriting Aid and Grammarly to take a deep dive into sentence mechanics. Unfortunately, this pass revealed many issues which took two solid weeks to correct. My last pass looked at all the changes to make sure the results made sense. Fortunately, I did a good job and only had a few single word tweaks.
What did I learn from this adventure? Taking a high-level view, many issues came out of a flawed writing goal. "I want to make this paragraph as long as possible. Readers get impressed by an enormous book." I have since learned to do a better job at trimming away wordy messes. On the flip side of this issue, I am better at explaining (describing) concepts which are in my head but in words.
Overall, I altered ~10%. The big changes were deleting three long-winded paragraphs. They did not add to the story and slowed down the flow. The overall word count went from 65 thousand words to 60 or a reduction of 0.9%.
I discovered many big grammar and spelling mistakes. There were two sentences without periods, one extra space between a period and a quote (“Like this. “) I found several misspelled words and encountered my old patterns: appreciated/appreciated, imbursed/embarrassed. Plus, the epic battle between less and fewer. Finally, I loaded the coma shotgun and blasted away until my keyboard was red with blood.
I feel bitter-sweet about the ultimate result. I am pleased with my original story, but the many changes disappointed me. Nevertheless, this re-writing pilgrimage shows me how much my writing ability has improved, and that realization is something to be proud of.
There is another aspect to think about. I can release a second edition. In school or a job, when you turn in your report, there is no second chance. I have read many books with ten editions. It looks like I have something to look forward to. Is this blog going to require a second edition? Hmm. So far, I have not tweaked my earlier blogs. Something not to look forward to.

You’re the best -Bill
September 16, 2021
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