I’ve recently finished the first draft of Jessebelle’s Beast, and it is—so far—probably my favorite of the Shadows in Sanctuary series. I love Gorzo! Granted, I love Ranove and Balfor too, but Gorzo is just such a sweetheart, it’s hard not to fall for him.
Now that the first draft is done, I must allow it to sit for about a month before going back to it, so that I can come at it with fresh eyes and see what needs to be done for revisions and edits. That leaves me searching for my next project and trying to figure out what it should be. I currently have three complete first drafts and a ton of ideas that I can work on. I’ve also been playing around with a science fiction romance that actually involves space ships this time. 😉
However, one question has been bugging me since 2010. Over the years, I’ve worked on improving my craft. I’ve learned more about writing, and editing. I’ve learned more about story pacing and building characters. One thing hasn’t changed though. The Princess’s Dragon is still one of my favorite stories of all time. Not just of my own books, but of any author’s. (Maybe I’m a little biased. 😉 )
I love this story so much, but I don’t love the execution of it. Not anymore. That’s because I know I can do better. I can cut out a lot of the fluff, flesh out the important details that I might have overlooked, start the book in a better place, eliminate all the basic errors that might have made it past my paid editor ( L ), and even foreshadow the future books which weren’t even imagined when I wrote this one. All of this I can do. The question is… should I?
The Princess’s Dragon is the first book I ever published, though it wasn’t the first full manuscript I ever wrote. (That one won’t ever see the light of day! It exists only to remind me of how far I’ve come.) Since I’ve published it, the reviews have been generally positive, which is heartening, given how many problems I personally see when I read it. I take that to mean that the story is good, which is why it gets positive feedback despite the issues.
So should I mess with it at all? It is the first book I published set in the Altrayan world. There are two other books in that world, as well as the story I’m publishing on my blog. The Princess’s Dragon is the entry into this world. My feeling is that it should be one of the strongest books in the series. Yet, as much as I love it, I cringe a lot when I reread it. 😉 (I believe I’ve covered in previous blogs how I’m my own harshest critic.)
Given that The Princess’s Dragon, despite being 7 years old, is still one of the best-selling books on my backlist, I have wrestled with whether I need to change it, or even whether I should. I would love to reach a wider audience, but when I do, I want all my books to be the best that they can be.
What do you think? I’ve often considered releasing all three published books in the Altrayan world as an omnibus edition. Is this the time to revise The Princess’s Dragon and do that? Or should I leave well enough alone and work on new projects?