Mission Creep

If I only learn one thing this year, it will be this:  in the mind of its author, a book is never perfect.

When I decided to serialize ‘Hallbury Summer’ in this blog through the Summer and Autumn, my plan was to break up the chapters of a book I had already written and published into shorter episodes. I anticipated a lighter workload than that which a completely new composition represented, enabling me to shift attention onto other things.

How wrong was I?

From the very first split of the very first chapter I was led by my compulsion to edit, altering tenses, swapping word order, re-jigging the paragraphs that, when I re-read them, no longer seemed smooth to me.  Minor things I thought would get better as the chopping down process progressed didn’t.  In fact, dear and tolerant readers, they got worse!

Now, as I spin Episode 23 into an MS Word document I find myself altering whole scenes.  I am weaving new material in and rejecting the old, to a point where I can no longer claim that the published version and the serialized version are the same book!  So when I promised at the beginning of this venture that you could take a shortcut if you wished by purchasing the Kindle book, I fear I may have (unintentionally) misled you.  There are changes; among other things, the ending will be different.

How different?  I don’t know yet!

And that’s the exciting thing, you see, because I’ve just seen the digital light.  Once upon a not-very-long-time-ago when your book went to print, that was all:  like the felled tree, the wood would no longer grow, only begin the business of dying.  The author would move on, leaving that small trail of forgotten titles rotting in his wake.

But now!  Ho, ho, now!   Now you can take it back almost at will, the book, you can return to it, breathe new life between its pages, and the story is the better for your being there, because you have brought it that much closer to perfection.  That’s what I’ve done with ‘Hallbury Summer’ – I’ve revitalised it:  in my mind at least I have raised it higher, and it is a better story thereby.

This is not to say the old book is bad – it’s not, or I don’t consider it so.  It’s different, reflecting a perspective of a few years ago, and redolent of my thinking then.  I will, however, replace its contents with the serialized version as soon as I have finished it here.

In the meantime, the original remains live on Kindle, linked here on your left if you wish to investgate!




13 responses to “Mission Creep”

  1. Well how did I not realize it was already published? Duh!

    But I’m invested in the new version and want that ending–whatever it may be (said she in trepidation). When it’s all done and the new version is on Kindle, I will grab my very own copy. But first—I’m enjoying the serialized chapters on your blog. Er, even if it is making more work for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Work I love, so no complaints there! I’m genuinely amazed by the changes, though. I get a real sense of anti-climax when I come to the end of one of these things, so I do wonder if I’m rewriting from choice rather than necessity.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. And I’ve learned that I can’t read a book in serialized fashion! My memory no longer is good enough to retain the details, names, and plot with a week gap between chapters. I am still hanging in there, but I would have much preferred reading the whole thing at my pace over a shorter period of time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry Amy – especially since last week’s tranche was rather a large chunk. Please let me render any help I can…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your synopses help a lot. I did groan with the introduction of the witchcraft person in this latest chapter—“Oh, no—another name!”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, that’s Margo. She only has a very small part, mainly as an advisor to Joe on witchcraft issues, after which she retreats into the woodwork! Nice lady, though!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Frederick – an editorial comment here – you referred to Margaret and Margot in the last chapter, and to Margo in your comment above. Just something to be aware of 🙂
            I am enjoying the story.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, thank you. It is of course Margo as the shortened version of Margaret. I’ll watch out for that one!

              Liked by 1 person

  3. well written…thanks for share

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I learn from you, my creative buddy. There are gifts in re-visiting previous work and the blessings of Kindle and the like, are that we can upload ner versions. Maybe that’s why our daily plans go west?? Hugs and more hugs, Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never make plans, Jane! Where did I read this? Every day starts with perfection, and then we ruin it with a plan…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am laughing and you always do that for me. Allan Saunders 1957 ‘Life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans’ and then John Lennon wrote the lines into his song ‘Darling Boy’. Thank you, Fred, for making me laugh. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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