[Revised November 1, 2016]
I admit my first attempts at self-publishing were disasters. Steady critique partners were difficult to find (and still are to this day!) Good luck getting someone to read your entire manuscript. Especially when you as a writer don’t mesh with the mainstream’s expectations and ideas.
I admit I thought that was as good as I would ever get. So I grew depressed, and settled for the crumbs I was tossed. And it took years to recover from that.
Workshops can feel like a high school clique, but they do help you grow as a writer. My advice if you’re a new writer facing that: Keep going. Keep looking. Because there are people out there who will enjoy your creativity, and your style. You just have to find them. Have patience! And continue to work hard learning your craft.
One important factor I will mention for a writer at any stage when you’re getting a critique: Ask for overall impressions. I cannot stress how important this is. People are not mind readers–well, at least not in this world. Most workshops only work chapter by chapter. Another reason why a manuscript can suffer.
With the successful revision of The Phoenix Embryo (TPE) into that second edition, it is now time to revise my first dark fantasy novel: TRAMM. Although, I wouldn’t call TPE that much of a revision–not when compared to what TRAMM’s second edition may go through.
Hammering out a second edition, and you’re coming along for the ride!
Some immediate, quick fixes for TRAMM: First thing on the list is a minor name change for the lead character.
She will now be addressed as Pony by the more decent cast members. The slur of Horsemeat will be peppered through the text for greater shock value, and when the mood of the scene calls for it.
This fix is to allow the reader to better settle into the novel. As my friends have said, less is more, and I quote another, “No reason to kill a fly with a shotgun…” Such a beautiful way with words, but I’m going off topic.
Second, I’m writing this story my way and at my own speed. The original draft was a nightmarish mix of trying to ram my own style into a top ten traditional mold and word count. Important scenes were cut to conform to expected length, and I did not explore the characters as in-depth as I should have.
Who knows what else I will find as I crack open the files and blow off the dust! Stick around, and we’ll soon find out.