So, as I mentioned a while ago, I commissioned some new cover art for my alien/action horror novel Class 5 and I was considering whether to make some changes to the book itself.
Well, I didn't go through the whole book to clean it up and straighten up the language, but there were a few things I decided to 'adjust'. I'm not going to go into details about what I changed, but I can go into why I did.
At one point, I describe the music playing over the radio. Rather bluntly. I list it by song and artist.
Now, music copyrights are pretty serious. Most songs you have to ask permission to use even a single line of their lyrics. Some sources suggest you can get away with a single line or two, but it's better not to take the risk.
I did consider replacing the blunt song and artist entry with a line from the song, but after some thinking, I decided it was better to just rework the line to just include the title and to make the line work better.
So, your characters need flaws. It makes them more relatable to the readers and makes them easier to care about. You can, apparently, go overboard though.
It seems I did that with one of my main characters. With one little paragraph which is never referenced again, I made one of the main characters, one which everyone should feel for, unlikable. Granted, this was a fair chunk of wordage to take out, but it needed to be done, and hopefully makes the story better for it.
Getting out of the character's heads
Last, but not least, was a pretty major plot point that I glossed over. It is subtly mentioned pretty deep in the story, but it needed to be more up front, so people understood why things changed for one of the characters after a certain point. Granted, nobody ever really mentioned it, so either it was more intuitive than I thought, or it just got lost in the action. We'll see.
Well, that's how it is. If you're not able to look at your own work critically, accept that you're never going to be perfect, and that you can always learn and grow, then you really have no business writing. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn't mean you can get away with throwing out cheap work over and over. You build up a reputation and that reputation will carry through all your future work.
Before I go though, there is one last thing I want to share with you all.
I give you, the new cover art for Class 5! Courtesy of Jamie Noble of www.TheNobleArtist.com