If I could go back…



I admit it. I read my own book. Not as a writer, but simply as a reader.

I thought it would be weird, at least uncomfortable, but it wasn’t. But it did get me thinking, now that I read it as a reader, what did I think? I’m not going to review my own book, but if I could go back and change something, what would it be?

My first response it that I would have my book start with chapter two and make the first chapter the prologue. And the people who were kind enough to leave a review would agree. I would not get rid of the first chapter, I felt it necessary, but as a reader, I felt the obvious starting point was chapter two. It is funny how I could not see that through all the countless edits, but I see it now.

Maybe I would have changed the ending a little to allow for a sequel or trilogy, (a question pondered since the first draft), although I already know the route I will take if that ever happens. Also, I think I would have tried to add more romance.

I read somewhere that a book is never finished, it is abandoned by the writer. The more I think about it, the more I disagree. I believed it once, however, now that I am older and wiser, I think that it is never abandoned, it is waiting for the writer to be ready.

So I leave you with this question. If you are a writer, what would you change?

-R.L. King

Also, Happy Birthday to my mom!

aka Sylvia's Bed & Breakfast

March 5, 2015

Quick thought: remembering an old fantasy series

March 5, 2015

5 Thoughts on If I could go back…

  1. I can’t answer your question because I’ve never read Other Systems as a full work after it was published. (I learned that lesson back when I published my first comic.)

    However I’ve read many chapters as independent sections in public and I did end up re-reading all the first five chapters of Other Systems in order to write The Light Side of the Moon. Yes, it’s a slow build, that being said I wouldn’t change it.

    In my opinion, its important to keep moving forward to the next project. Otherwise you just drive yourself crazy with the “what ifs”

  2. I’ve read The Duchess Quest about 3 times cover-to-cover since it’s been published. Some parts make me smile. Others make me cringe. The definite truth is that I feel I’m a far better writer now than I was when I wrote my debut novel. But I’m still quite proud of the accomplishment.

    We will always be our own worst critics. I’ve caught little things that bother me (and I don’t mean typos, but perhaps mini plot-holes or an inconsistency here or there), but I’m probably the only one who’ll read it this many times and who’ll notice anything. (Okay, except for maybe my dad.) Yet, it stands as the very best work that I could accomplish at the time that I wrote it, as a first-time author. I’m happy to have learned from every shortcoming so that my writing continues to improve with each book.

    Thanks for bringing up this great topic and opening such an interesting dialogue!

  3. I have also felt the exact same way in this area! I have read “The Human Cure” which was my debut novel several times, and I am definitely proud. But there are also things that I wish I had done just a bit differently. I look at the character of Chase and realize that I could’ve let the audience in on certain aspects of his personality sooner. If only I had known him then like I know him now! But in writing my sequel I am getting to explore all those areas. And the other little discrepancies that bother me make me feel lucky in a way as well. How fortunate are we to be able to continue to grow as writers, and to look back and reflect!

  4. This is something that I’ve reflected on often. Jonathan Franzen, and I’m paraphrasing here, once said that he simply couldn’t read over his published work since he found so many things he wanted to change. Personally, like everyone else on this chain, I have a very difficult time reviewing my previously published fiction. My debut novel, for example, was printed before it was done in a very raw form. It was, essentially, a rough draft, and there are many, many mistakes throughout, including a first chapter that is slow, confusing, and simply too dark to draw readers in. After winning back the rights, I’ve cut the first chapter completely and have begun revising it to make it more marketable for a wider audience. I hope to publish it again under a new title.
    I made many mistakes with that first book, but they all made me into a better writer. Currently, I’m working through edits on my follow-up with the 48Fourteen editors, and I’m catching all sorts of missteps that I missed my first time around. And that’s all we can do: write more to hone our craft in the hopes of one day becoming master storytellers. Writing does not have a clearly defined endpoint. It’s a lifelong process in which authors struggle to illustrate their outlooks on the world. And how does one perfectly encapsulate his philosophy through a creative narrative? By trying, again and again, until one day he gets it right.


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