Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Revisiting Old Works

This one should be pretty short, more of an update than a blog post, just to keep fans and people in the loop on what I'm up to.

Trying to work harder on my writing, which isn't exactly easy with a full-time+ job. I am managing though. I have three short stories out on submission right now, which is a new personal record, and I have a list of open calls to write for.

Got a few ideas for new novels and novellas too, with a few false starts in place. (Hey, it's better than nothing! Words on the page is always a win!)

In addition, I'm currently commissioning some new art for my book Class 5. While I was satisfied with the current one, it doesn't exactly scream Horror, and the font needs some work. I will admit that when I first commissioned the current cover, I didn't really have a good idea to start with for what I wanted. That led to the first version (which I rejected) which had an Arizona desert that looked like a cracked wasteland, and the crashed spaceship being the Serenity from Firefly.

Changing cover art really isn't THAT big of a deal though.  It happens all the time. Look up Stephen King's Cujo on Goodreads.com, and you can see at least a dozen cover variants. 

But that's not what I really want to talk about here. I self-published Class 5 in 2013. Now that may not seem like that long ago, but in terms of skill and personal growth, it's ages. Looking through it now, as I make sure all the details I want to give the new artist are right, I can see a lot of the things that need work. It's not that a lot of these issues are technically wrong, but as much as I've grown as a writer since then, I know I can do better. 

Which brings me to my dilemma. Do I sweep through a book that's been out there for years, making changes and edits and things, or do I just leave it, as a reminder of the level I was at, at that point? 

Now, I have talked about this a little before, specifically regarding my very first book, The Unknown Neighbor. The Unknown Neighbor has tons of issues, cover, formatting, plot, tension, and even the writing itself. To get that book up to any kind of snuff would pretty much mean a complete re-write. I would be better off just taking the idea and starting with a brand new story. That said, I did consider it at one point, as well as leaving it up for sale. In the end, I pulled it without any revisions and I don't anticipate ever making it available again. 

So what's the difference now, with Class 5? Well, there really just aren't as many issues. The story and plot are good, the action too. It could use a few more details in places, but it's not that big a deal. I'm not talking about re-working anything. The main thing is taking some of the parts of iffy writing and making them better. Basically, another editing pass or two. Not that I'm completely sold on the idea just yet, but it's something I'm considering to go along with the new cover art, and I'll probably fix some formatting issues with the physical copy. We'll see.

Is that good? Is it bad? Well, as long as the story itself isn't changing, there shouldn't be a big problem. I'm not changing any details, I'm not adding or taking things out so that new readers get a different experience than the ones that read it in the past. I don't want to invalidate the reviews Class 5 already has. I just want to clean up the language so people can enjoy the story easier.

Like I said though, we'll see. In the meantime, I apologize, this turned out to be a lot longer than I planned. Still, if you want to know more, feel free to hop over to Amazon and check out Class 5 for yourself! Just click on the cover on the right side of my blog here!

~ Shaun

1 comment:

  1. I think revisiting old works can be fun. Class 5 is in great shape with solid writing, and since you self-published, it shouldn't be a huge undertaking to update.

    One of the authors I worked with went back through his first three in a series and made a complete overhaul of them, which really improved the flow of the writing. The story was solid, but he found that there were a lot of things that were considered dross in his now-mature writer's eyes.

    I say go for it if you have the time and the desire. If there are only a few tweaks, it will fall along the lines of a "second edition," which is not much different than fixing typos. It shouldn't negate any of your reviews.