Curse of the Sphinx was my first novel, and I was so, so in love with it. When I first finished writing in 2013, I’d written 180,000+ words. I was so naïve I queried it. I had an agent request a sample, and then the full MS. Which in and of itself is astonishing. But she gave me feedback about structure, pacing, and arcs that left me scratching my head (I told you I was naïve).
A few months later, I went to Utopiacon. I learned so much, and I realized I needed to do a lot of work with my manuscript. Then I got into a critique group, and realized there was a lot more work to do. I hired an editor, and did a boat-load of revisions. In June of 2015 I was ready.
Or so I thought.
I’ve heard of authors looking back at their first books (especially in the indie world) and recognizing how much they’ve improved as writers. I just didn’t expect it to happen to me… in less than 18 months.
Much of my dissatisfaction likely came from seeing how much better Demigods and Monsters was comparatively. Some of it was the realization that three editors just do a better job than one. And my writing really is getting better. Which is a good thing.
I debated letting it go, but I just couldn’t. So I sent it off to an editor, and then another. By the time I was done with revisions, I felt much better about Curse of the Sphinx and the beginning of Hope’s story. Better about the pacing, the world-building, and the anchoring of the scenes. I felt better about my characters and their arcs. I cut over 5,000 words. I added one scene that was approximately 500 words, but I tried to add more details, too as I was reviewing it. The second edition has 7,000+ new words (don’t ask me how that happened). And I love how the ending sets up for Demigods and Monsters.
I’m fairly confident there will be some backlash for the changes. Although *fingers crossed* hopefully, readers will love it as much as I do.
I’m also learning I can’t please everyone, regardless of how much I want to. But this story is one I am very proud of. And I’m going to leave it at that.
**Deleted scenes will be added to the Read for Free section in the next couple of weeks. These will be unedited from the first edition manuscript.**