#WIPjoy: The Other Half of Everything

(images found on Pinterest, other than the title banner in the middle)

As you may or may not be aware (depending on whether you follow me on Twitter or not), I took part in this month’s #WIPjoy challenge, which was great fun! ^_^

I really enjoyed sharing all my answers to the prompts in one handy spot, here on my blog, when I did it last October for The Siren and the Skyship, so I’d like to do that again!

This month I featured The Other Half of Everything, and I thought y’all might enjoy another glance at that work-in-progress of mine, so here you go…

#WIPjoy (Work In Progress Joy) is a writing meme hosted by Bethany Jennings @simmeringmind

WEEK 1: INTRO

Day 1: Introduce your MC & their story

Meridian: 17, no-nonsense, unreliable narrator. <3’s music. Zero patience for Teague.

Teague: the other MC; writer, bookworm, Hero.

Their story: Fantasy world(s), unexpected romance, Teague’s broken/quirky family. Humor, snark, DWJ-esque.

(mock “cover” made by me from images on Pinterest)

Day 2: About you! List 5 things you value

  • Fantasy
  • Heroism
  • Truth
  • Humor
  • Happy endings

About me: Fantasy writer, reader, blogger, punctuation enthusiast (freelance copyeditor/proofreader), Tolkienite, Diana Wynne Jones fan, avid bookshelf organizer, secretly an otter. ^_^

Day 3: A line that’s attention-grabbing

But, I reasoned, it wasn’t the end of the world. It could be worse. Teague could have been an axe-murderer instead of just a writer. I’d live with it. I’d have to.

Day 4: Your main writing goal this year

I’m more doing Dreams than Goals, but some of the main ones are: finish another novel, expand writing platform (newsletter/social media/website), and maybe go to Realm Makers. Here’s a list of my 2018 writing dreams.

Day 5: Your MC’s greatest yearning

Meridian yearns to change the world with music.

Teague… well… who knows what he wants, vague man of mystery that he is…

(Okay, you never heard this from him, but he wants to fix his estranged family relationships and save a couple worlds…)

Day 6: An aesthetic/visual for the WIP

WEEK 2: PRIDE AND JOY

Day 7: Your writing victories of 2017

Wrote 86K (30K in short stories), 5 whole short stories, started a new novel I love, won NaNo for 8th time, NEW PLOTBUNNIES, wrote in my writing journal every week, 116 blog posts.

Day 8: Your strengths as a writer

I have strengths? O.o (JK… *cough* >.>)

I like to think a dash of humor, elegant writing, fun characters, and snappy dialog, are my strengths.

Anyone who’s read anything I’ve written: What do you think my strengths are? I’d love to know!

Day 9: A line that makes you grin

[How about THE WHOLE THING?? Ahem.]

“Pardon me, Miss Meridian, but did you live under a rock your whole life?”

“No, I lived under you,” I shot back. “Which is clearly the same thing.”

Day 10: A character friendship you love

Teague and Meridian. I LOVE their dynamic/snark (but pleasant too… kinda). He annoys her. XD And they’ll fall in love. OBViously. Especially since they don’t know it. Both will deny EVERYTHING if you ask ’em. 😉 *evil author is evil*

Day 11: Has this WIP made you cry?

Not yet. *cue ominous music* I’m writing snippets out of order, so I haven’t been in the mode/emotional. Anytime I think about Teague & his family problems I cry a little inside though. (And then I laugh/smirk/fangirl because I love them.)

Day 12: 5 things you like about this WIP

  • TEAGUE. Can’t describe him
  • Involves a writer (see above) + bookishness
  • Fun + banter (love writing/re-reading!)
  • ALL THE FANTASY. (Spoilers, sweetie. But fantasy worlds…)
  • The “feel” (Diana Wynne Jones-ish but not) + characters/relationships

Day 13: A magical moment in the story

“What happened?” I asked Teague, meaning: “how did you end up locked in an invisible enchanted prison-thing?”

“I made a Wind Chaser angry.”

“And how on earth did you go about doing that?”

“It must have been my charming personality.”

WEEK 3: BOLD CREATIVITY

Day 14: A poem about/from your WIP

No poetry in it as yet; anything serious would be spoilers.

Random/silly thing:

It horrified (or slightly bothered) Teague
To find Meridian and Lulin in league
About his lack of a good memory
But he quickly forgot and went back to his tea

Day 15: Your best tip for writer’s block

Turn on a timer and try writing just until it goes off, and see if you don’t find that you’re writing after all…

Day 16: (1) A line that feels daring

[Drawing a blank, so have this one.]

“Well, what’s wrong with him?” Gran asked.

I grasped about for the right words and couldn’t find them. “…Everything!”

I didn’t know the half of it.

Day 16: (2) Other creative outlets you enjoy

Wait, there’s something other than writing? O.o

Sometimes: graphic/web design, sketch, color, crafty things [origami/knit/crochet], play a line on piano/pennywhistle.

But who has time for that when there’s books to read/write??

Day 17: Your WIP described as a food

A coffee-cake, mildly brownish and demure and coffee-flavored at first, so it’s tasty; but when you cut it open, there’s a whole new world of a hundred different colors and flavors inside…

Day 18: 3 songs that inspire me (for The Other Half of Everything)

Touch the Sky (Brave)

Walls (After the Morning – Cara Dillon)

Into the Open Air (Brave)

(First: the wonder of worlds; other two: Teague & Ivan… ‘Scuse me while I go cry.)

Day 19: Doodle an image from the story!

I… er… haven’t drawn anything for this one, so have my very first fan-art, from my dear friend Skye Hoffert, instead. (It’s Meridian and Teague and it makes me happy. ^_^)

Meridian and Teague (art by Sky Hoffert)

Day 20: How is writing this WIP brave?

My first novel in first-person w/ unreliable narrator + nothing like me. Writing out of order. Throwing away all story conventions & doing what I want. Aspiring to be a bit like Diana Wynne Jones. Dealing w/ dark things but a fun story.

WEEK 4: CHARACTER TAKEOVER!

(Character takeover week is my FAVORITE! :D)

Day 21: MC: your favorite holiday

Meridian: Bonfire Night.

Teague: National Read a Book Day.

M: IS there such a thing?

T: I haven’t the faintest notion, but there ought to be.

M: You could look it up.

T: Too much work… *goes back to reading*

Day 22: Antagonist: your side goals

I’m skipping this one since my antagonist(s) are… erm… in the works. >.> Which is to say, I’m having a hard time pinning them down. -_- (Anyone have villain tips? *cough*)

Day 23: A line of dialogue

A series of loud thumps proceeded from the direction of the kitchen. Then silence.

“I don’t want to know what that was!” I called.

“Remarkably wise of you,” Teague called back.

“I still don’t want to know what that was!” I warned.

“That’s probably for the best.”

Day 24: MC: describe your work day

Meridian: I go upstairs & clean house/make food for THIS guy so he won’t burn the house down.

Teague: *blinks absently* Work? What’s that? I don’t work; I ART. *reads/writes/makes money on scribblings*

M: No idea how he gets away with that. -_-

Day 25: Sidekick: a day your life changed

Lulin: Classified. Sorry, sweetie. *smiles*

Me: You could —

L: If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Politely… But you’d still be dead = unpleasant for both of us. So. Classified. ^_^

Me: … The problem with questions like this… -_-

Day 26: Antag: do you relate to the MC?

(I’m using Ivan for this one; he’s slightly antagonistic, though not villainous.)

Ivan: No.

Me: I didn’t mention if said MC is Meridian or Teague —

Ivan: NO.

Me: (He kind of does because — )

Ivan: SHUT UP.

Day 27: Main Character: a memory about family

Meridian: I don’t really remember my parents, but one of my mother playing the violin I play now. Gold music and sunlight in her hair.
Teague: My siblings & I on some adventure. NOT the dragon one. (Me: Too late.) Very well, that one. Fun times…

WEEK 5: VISION

Day 28: How do you hope to publish?

AHAHAHAHA.

Ahem.

I have no clue yet. Hence the insane laughter. (Hope you enjoyed that, by the way, because it’s all the answer you’re getting, unfortunately… Come back in a century or two once I know. *tips hat* Good day…)

Day 29: Who do you write for?

Teens, twenty-somethings, and those young at heart, who enjoy a good fantasy tale with a dash of humor and elegance and (I like to think) a unique twist on a thing or two, and don’t want to worry about content or an agenda. Just a good ol’ enjoyable story. 🙂

Day 30: A line about hopes or goals

Teague sighed as if he carried the burden of the world on his shoulders. “My new life goal is to turn you into a bookworm. Preferably of fantasy. Read this.”

“Why would I want to read a book?” I protested.

“Because I am selflessly lending it to you.”

Day 31: Where to find you (link day!)

Still working on that official website; stay tuned. 😂


What do you think? Comment below — I’d love to chat! Thanks for reading! ^_^

Giveaway + Publishing Tips with Jamie Foley (Arbiter Blogtour)

Today I’m excited to be part of a blog tour to celebrate the release of Arbiter by Jamie Foley, the second book in the Sentinel Trilogy!

Book 1

I just read book 1, Sentinel, and fell absolutely in love with it! Unlike anything I’ve read before, Sentinel is a thrilling fantasy adventure in a fantasy world with modern aspects, fantasy mind-powers, and, oh yeah, an apocalypse — plus great humor, awesome characters, a hint of Christian allegory, and all rolled up in a gripping, good clean novel. 🙂 It ended at a surprising point and left me needing book 2!

Book 2

I’m so excited that Arbiter has released now, and can’t wait to dive into reading it soon. 😀

(Read my review for Sentinel — and the prequel novella, ViperHERE on my book blog!)

Jamie Foley is a great author and a lovely person; I got to meet her at a writing workshop where she was speaking on publishing and marketing and other cool authorial things. I absolutely loved all the cool info she had to offer, so I’m excited to share some of her thoughts about the publishing world and other fun things in an interview below. 🙂

Don’t forget to scroll down for links at the end, and enter the giveaway too! (Who wants to enter to win books and gift cards? You know you want to!)

Interview

1. Welcome, Jamie! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Howdy! I’m a workaholic marketing specialist/webmaster/graphic artist/indie publisher/author. Apparently that’s a thing…?

I live in central Texas with my Irish cowboy husband, hyperactive toddler, and snuggle-bunny Australian Shepherd. We’re rabid gamers and unashamed nerds.

2. Which book in the Sentinel trilogy surprised you the most while writing it?

Definitely Book 2: Arbiter. I didn’t expect the villain to come alive and be so… well… loveable over the course of the story. More than one beta reader said they learned to love him despite his nefarious deeds.

And Jet did some things I didn’t have in my outline. I tried to argue, but he’s so thick-headed.

(Oh my, I can just see that of Jet. XD)

3. What’s next in your writing/publishing plans after the final book (Sage) releases?

I’m working on two new series, both of which I hope to traditionally publish. One is called Emberhawk, which happens in the same world as The Sentinel Trilogy, but thousands of years in the past.

In Emberhawk, elementals vie for control of human tribes and empires, sparking wars that shape the nations of Sentinel. I’m planning for Emberhawk to be a series of three novels with a tad more romance than The Sentinel Trilogy, but just as much action and suspense.

The second series is still early in development, but… *looks over shoulder and whispers* It’s set on a totally new world with rune magic!

(Looking forward to both! :))

4. Zoo or museum, and why?

OK, I love zoos, but I definitely have to go with museums. My hubby and I are total nerds, always slurping up random worthless trivia and awesome historical tidbits. I love learning about the past — the more ancient, the better!

5. If you could choose one place to visit, real or fictional, where would you go?

Do I have to choose one?? Well… then it would probably be Narnia. Assuming that I couldn’t go back in time and ancient Earth. Or Rivendell. Or Kashyyyk… sorry.

(I’m totally up for Kashyyyk or any of those! ;))

6. Which aspects of indie publishing have been the most challenging and most rewarding?

It’s challenging to supply your own funds for crafting a professional work all by yourself, but if you know it’s what you want to do as a career and you save up, you’ll find that most all of the pros out there are happy to work with indie authors. Learning the ropes is tough at first, but boy, is it worth it!

One bonus of indie publishing is that you can be a little more… out there… than some publishers might approve of. Yes, you should definitely hire a professional editor or two, but at the end of the day, you get to make the call when your work is ready for the world to see.

Another reward is when the monetary investment returns and you don’t have to pay any middle-men. But if you can land a contract with one of the Big 5 publishers, signing that baby would definitely be worth it!

7. What is the difference between traditional and self-publishing, and what is a hybrid publisher?

There are a bunch of differences, but really it’s a matter of rights. As an independently published author, you’d maintain all of your rights and would take all of the profits from your book sales for yourself. But you’re a one-man show.

If you’re lucky enough to land a traditional publishing contract, you’d sell your rights to the publisher and make a much lower royalty percentage. But you’d have a team of experts behind you with a vested interest in making your book awesome and selling as many copies as possible.

A hybrid author has one foot in each camp. They have been traditionally published, but also self-publish some of their works.

8. What are the advantages of being a hybrid author versus just sticking with indie or traditional?

There are lots of advantages! Hybrid authors have the best of both worlds. They have the full force of a publisher’s resources gunning for their success–large traditional publishers help tremendously with marketing and may even hire a publicity firm for a project or two.

And when traditional authors self-publish on the side, they make a killing on the royalties because they’ve already got a large fan base, thanks to their publisher. Because of this, hybrid authors tend to make more money than both independent and traditional authors (on average).

9. Are there any well-known authors who have chosen to hybrid publish their work?

Oh, yeah! I’ve chatted with bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Beth Wiseman about their decisions to self-publish after many years of publishing traditionally with the ‘Big 5’ publishers.

The sad truth is that authors simply don’t make as much moolah as we used to. The market is changing, and a lot of big-time authors are barely hanging on. This is why you see well-known authors turning to self-publishing–even if they’re also continuing to publish traditionally–to make more money on the side.

10. What advice would you share with an aspiring author?

Decide if you want to write for pleasure or for business. It’s OK just to write for pleasure and not publish everything, just like it’s OK to be a hobby artist or musician!

But if you do want to be a career writer, realize that you’re starting a small business—and all small business require a monetary investment and a start-up period of a few years. Be willing to learn, save up, and sacrifice. Surround yourself with professionals—from top editors to bestselling authors to award-winning cover designers to marketing gurus—and I promise your hard work will pay off.

Great advice — thanks so much for joining us, Jamie!

Tour-wide Giveaway

Blogtour Schedule

The Books

This is getting a bit long, so check out the links to the books to read more about them! 🙂

Sentinel (Book 1)

Amazon (Kindle/Paperback)Signed PaperbackGoodreads

Arbiter (Book 2) — just released!

Amazon (Kindle/Paperback)Signed PaperbackGoodreads

Sage (Book 3)

Coming soon!

Viper (Book 0) — prequel novella

Amazon (Kindle/Paperback)Signed PaperbackGoodreads

What do you think, Roadlings? Do the books intrigue you? Is this an awesome giveaway? (Yes.) And did you find any of the publishing info interesting? Drop a comment to let me know what you think, and thanks for reading! 🙂

Ink Spill Follow-up

I think a part of the problem is that I really do wish and hope with all my heart to be a published author someday.

But for one thing, I don’t know exactly what that looks like anymore, with publishing being such a tossed-up thing just now. For another thing, I’m not willing (currently) to do what it takes (or what people say it takes) to pursue that to the end.

I suppose yesterday’s rampage was about trying to convince myself that I can still write, that I’m still allowed to, that I can still even claim to be a writer, even if at this season in my life it does not include trying to publish.

There may be another season, someday, but right now my season is to write.

You can’t go straight from winter to summer (unless you’re in Texas… but I digress…). The trees can’t go directly from bare-branched to fully leaved overnight. The leaves have to come in and grow, slowly, from little pale green timid buds to full grown glossy dark green leaves.


I still want to be published. I don’t believe, at this stage, that I ever will be. But someday I may believe again. I don’t know. But right now I don’t have to. I just have to write. And that is a wonderful reminder which I greatly needed. So I’d like to say thank you to those who encouraged me in this way.

The future may hold something different, but as the fellow says in the Irish song: “Cares of tomorrow can wait till this day is done.”

ottergrouphugI want to give a heartfelt thanks to every person who dropped me a kind word yesterday or today, or earlier this month when I was going through something similar to this with my not winning the Rooglewood contest… or in fact ever encouraged me. I was so touched and uplifted, and I’m immeasurably grateful.

I often forget that I’m not . . . alone. It may sound strange, but I’m a solitary sort of person, and I’ve somehow, impossibly, come to believe that I am alone and have to do everything by myself.

I imagine I’m a lot more like my solitary character Tare in that way than I ever suspected.

bringmeoutBut he and I, together, are slowly beginning to learn that we don’t have to do it alone. That people, incredibly . . . CARE. About me, about him. No matter how little we feel we deserve it, or how difficult it is for us to fathom. We never imagined what could be . . . never could have dreamed that such people could exist and lift us up in such a way. But the Chess Club are there for him, even when he doesn’t know it (he hasn’t learned this yet, but he may, in time…). And you all have been there for me, even when I little dreamed that there could be such wonderful people in the world. ❤

It’s humbling, eye-opening, and very wonderful indeed to feel supported and loved and encouraged, and it is a blessing of a thing beyond words (and we all know how much I love words, so it must be very far indeed) to know you all.

I’m very grateful for all of you. Thank you very much.

Frustrated Rants of a Victim of Self Publishing

frustratedrants

Perhaps I should clarify: this is not about self-publishing per se. And it is not intended to bash any author or any book. This is more about what I call republishing: the power that self-published authors have to tweak or rewrite their own books after “publication” (especially e-books); how this power impacts readers, and whether this is good or not.

I don’t have answers. This is just a rant about some problems I have seen or experienced. Proceed at your own risk. Thank you.


“Publishing” doesn’t seem to have the same meaning anymore. A published book used to be fairly final. Maybe there would be some typos fixed in later printings, or perhaps a second edition or whatever. But it was more of a complicated process, involving lots of people, and therefore used somewhat sparingly.

With self-publishing, particularly with e-books, the author can change the book any time they want, and in any way. Which makes it easier for fixing typos, of course (huzzah!).

But what about more than that?

It seems to this reader that many self-published books this reader has run into, were published by a youngish author (not even necessarily young; maybe just less experienced) awhile ago… and even could have been a very good book… and then the author decides they’ve improved as a writer and decide to majorly tweak or rewrite said “published” book.

This is what I call republishing, and I am a victim of it.

I’m not naming names or titles. There’s doubtless always a reason for such things being done, and often I even agree with them. This is not for any person(s) or book(s) in particular. I’m not bashing anyone! Anyone who may have done this… I still love them. This is just an accumulation in my mind that requires this reader to rant.

So rant I shall.

What if you’ve bought the old version…

…and haven’t read it?

If I’ve bought a book and haven’t read it yet, and then hear it’s being rewritten, or has been, since I bought it… well, that makes me not want to read the version I own. Why should I bother? It’s an old version. It’s no longer current. It does make me feel rather depressed — I bought this book, but it’s no longer a “real” book so I’m not going to read it… or if I do, I’ll know it’s not “real” any longer. And if I’m not going to read this version, that I bought, why should I bother buying and reading the new version? It rather puts me off the whole idea, which is a sadness indeed. Especially when I really wanted to read that book!

If someone sends me a copy of their unpublished work-in-progress to beta-read, and I’m busy and don’t get around to it right away, and then they send me an updated version before I’ve read the first… am I going to read the first version or the new one? The new one, of course.

It’s like that, except that it’s unpublished and is expected to change.

A published book is supposed to be finished, right?

Right?

What if you’ve bought the old version

…and HAVE read it?

Oftentimes it seems that authors who do this republishing are very aware of what they’re doing, and very kindly put their republished book up for free for a time, so that buyers of the previous version (read, or unread) can have the new version and won’t be victims. This is very considerate of them, and I appreciate the sentiment. Maybe it works for most people.

I for one have never managed to make this work. Allegedly you can delete your version on your kindle or kindle app, and re-order the book from amazon, and it should be the new version. For me, that’s never worked. It always keeps the original version, no matter what I do. Again, this may just be me.

But, along that line…

What if it does work?

What if the e-book of the old version is whisked magically (scientifically; whatever) away into the nether-ness of deleted data, and replaced with a shiny, new, updated version just as the author wishes it to be.

What if you have the new version, but…

What if you liked the older version better?

This has happened to me. I’ve read books that the author has later rewritten or changed now that they’re a better writer… and I have infinitely preferred the previous version. Fortunately, the particular one I’m thinking about, the old was a physical copy, and the new version an e-book. So I could compare the changes, read both versions, and realize that I preferred the old… and still had it so I can still read that version. Happy day!

But. If I had preferred the old version, and it had been a replaced e-book (if it had worked), then the version I liked better would have been gone.

Forever.

Something about that idea makes this book-loving reader’s heart bleed and this reader’s word-devouring eyes cry.

(It also reminds me of, in Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, how Mr. Norrell made all the copies of Mr. Strange’s book on magic disappear, because he didn’t like Strange’s take on things. Granted, that’s someone else getting rid of it, which is not quite the same as the author doing so. But still.)

True, it would be the version the author liked better.

But what of the reader?

Isn’t the reader important too?

Aren’t books for readers?

Who is right: the author, or the reader?

Well, I believe both are right. That’s why things get complicated. (This could easily trail off into a discussion of Tolkien and the Tree of Tales… but that’s a ginormous topic for another day.)

But if I read a book and love it and recommend it to everyone… and then the author changes it… how will I know if it’s still the book I recommended? What if it isn’t? How can I recommend it? What if I want to recommend the old version but it’s not available anymore?

As I said, when beta-reading an unpublished manuscript, you know it’s not the final product and will change. Sometimes I prefer an earlier version to the final one, personal reader preference versus author-decision; author has the final word, which is as it should be since it’s their story. But at least, then, I know it’s subject to change. It’s not finished. It’s not finalized. It’s not PUBLISHED.

Now, it seems that “published” doesn’t necessarily mean anything anymore.

Self-published books seem to just mean it’s available for people to read.

But it’s not safe. It could change at any time.

From a reader’s point of view, this is frightening.

From an author’s?

Well, from an author’s point of view, it’s wonderful. You (this is a generic “you”. It doesn’t mean you who are reading this or anyone in particular) can publish your book, people can read it, everything can be great… Then if you decide that you’ve grown as a writer and hate your old version or think it needs a lot of tweaking, if you’re self-published and especially with e-books, you can just go in and fix it — easy-peasy — and feel that all’s right with the world and whoever buys it from now on (and whoever successfully downloads the copy you put available for free for awhile) will have the new, the updated, the REAL version that’s the version you like.

. . . For now.

Until you decide to change it again.

Published doesn’t apparently mean “finished” anymore.

Am I judging anyone?

Heck no.

If I had anything published and — horror of horrors — found a typo, I’d go right in and change it.

If I had self-published my first finished novel back when I was thinking about publishing it, I’d be in the exact same boat as all these republishers. I look back at that fourteen-or-however-old-I-was writing and I cringe and am very glad that I was not prevailed upon (as the pressure was) to publish right away, back when I felt like it was “ready”. (Ha.) Otherwise I would be rushing right in to republish an updated, rewritten version. Probably multiple times. Especially since my first finished book is now in the middle of a series, and will require massive rewrites and perhaps a complete overhaul by the time I get the other books written.

Which brings us to another aspect of this discussion…

Continuity in series

I will admit that Tolkien himself ended up changing part of a chapter of The Hobbit, after its publication, before The Lord of the Rings was published. Without it, maybe The Lord of the Rings wouldn’t have made sense. *shrug* Or maybe it would. But it was a fairly big deal and he even went to lengths to make the change fit in within the story-world itself (i.e., the old version was the version Bilbo wrote in his book, since The Hobbit was his memoir, and it was different than what truly happened and was published later, because the Ring was already working on him and he didn’t want to tell the whole story about getting it, and Gollum, and everything).

How about the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. The first book, Redwall, was published almost without the author’s knowledge; he had just written it to amuse the blind children at the school he delivered milk to, and had no real plans to publish it, but somebody just basically did. Huzzah! Consequently, when he began to write more stories there were a lot of continuity errors between Redwall and the later (and earlier) books, and also between them as he was writing them. Did he go back and rewrite/edit them to fit together better? No, he did not. Do readers sometimes complain about this? Yes, they do. But I for one am glad of it (the not-changing; not the complainers). They may not make entire sense all together, but they’d be different if they did, and I like them how they are, and I’m much happier that he went on to write many other delightful Redwall adventures instead of mucking about trying to make the published ones all seamlessly fit together.

Authors are human. There are errors, especially in huge series. And that’s okay.

Also, I can’t let a discussion of republishing end without mentioning the republished versions of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys series. The original versions (Hardy Boys books started in 1927, Nancy Drew in 1930) were “modernized” in the ’50s and ’80s and also since then, and basically entirely rewritten AND PUBLISHED AGAIN UNDER THE SAME TITLES. What even is this nonsense.

Now, I positively loved the original Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories (though the Rick Brant books were my favorites of those kind of old series. SCOTTY. <3). They’re so much fun and just… yes. Awesome. But the newer ones, edited to be more “socially acceptable” or some rubbish, are ick. Like, the original characters were awesome and noble and heroic and fun. The old books are wonderful and the new ones are awful and TOTALLY different. And yet they’re hailed as the real versions these days because the old ones are old and rare and… the new ones are masquerading as the old ones and pretending to be the actual books but they’re NOT. This really bothers me…

So there is a case of a “real” publisher republishing things… It’s not just self-publishers, I know… But any version of this can be annoying is all I’m saying.

Also on that note… Abridged. JUST… NO. I do not like books being abridged! It feels just… so so wrong. -_-

My rant is trailing off down several rabbit trails, as rants are wont to do…

I can see the point of editing a book so that it will make sense with the later books in the series, or editing it because otherwise there can be no sequels at all because the story doesn’t fit.

But that doesn’t mean, as a reader, that I have to like it.

And maybe the first book should have waited to be published until the later ones were finished if continuity is that big of a concern.

Yes, I suppose it’s somewhat cool that anyone can publish their own book; freedom and all that.

I can see a certain benefit to being able to go back and redo a book one wrote as a teen, or even as a generally younger person who was not yet as advanced of a writer as one currently is.

But maybe one shouldn’t have published it yet if it wasn’t ready.

William Goldman said that The Princess Bride and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (movie) were the only things he wrote that he can look back on without humiliation, because he dislikes his own writing. But he didn’t go back and try to fix them.

All writers grow as they continue writing.

And as long as their work(s) is unpublished, they should feel free to write and rewrite and tweak to their heart’s content. But it’s quite possible that once it’s published it should be finished and done with and largely unchanged, aside from minor things like typos (yes, my perfectionist self will make allowances for that) and, yes, there can be a second edition or maybe a tweaked this or that… Traditionally published books do seem to sometimes do things like that. But it’s purposefully slow and difficult.

Because published books are supposed to be basically finished.

That’s why they’re published and not still manuscripts.

Conclusion

Ignore this post or disagree with it or argue with it or hate it as you will.

I don’t have answers.

I’m not pretending to.

This is a rant of a confused victim of self-publishing and consequently republishing, who no longer knows what to think.

I’m torn because, as a writer myself, I see the author’s point of view, and I know if it came right down to it and I was published (fortunately, I am not) I would probably be doing the same thing, and be glad about it.

But as I said, I’m torn. Because as a reader, I want my books to be just that. Books. Not ever-changing manuscripts. I want BOOKS.

I may never be an author.

I’ve been a writer for a long time and hope to be for even longer, as long as I have stories to write down.

But I’ve always been and hopefully always will be a reader.

And with so many writers and self-publishers in the world today (this can be both good and bad; again, I don’t have answers) I feel like it’s time that a reader’s opinion is heard.

This reader had something to say, decided to embrace free speech, whether or not it was a good idea, and has now said it.

Do with it what ye will.

fin