What I've Been Doing
Some people know this already because I've shared snippets with them. Others might suspect because of Facebook posts I've made implying it. Others have no idea.
Here's my big news: I'm revising Sowing.
I know, I know. I said I'd never do this, that once it was out, that was it and I was done, NO MORE EDITING. And those of you who love the book as it is, PLEASE don't feel like I don't care about your opinions and passion. I do. So much. Your love for this story/world/these characters is one of the biggest blessings in my life, and I'm honored to call so many of you friends. <3
To be transparent, yes, this whole thing started because of several negative reviews that said the same thing(s). Once I shook off the sting, I looked at the complaints more objectively...and in a lot of ways, they were right. There were even some mostly-positive reviews that mentioned issues with the same scene. That's what really tipped it over the edge. Once I saw it, I couldn't let it go. That guy can be a jerkface, yes, but he's not a predator and he was never meant to be. His actions in that scene don't fit him as I now know him to be.
So I opened the document and read through the most-hated section while asking myself, "CAN I fix this? How do I rework this so it is not *THAT* but also does what it needs to?" The first couple times, I couldn't see past the words on the page, couldn't see the scene any other way.
But then I got an idea. (Almost a "duh" one, haha, but anywho...)
And I cautiously started picking it apart. I cut out the section that needed to go, and bit by bit, I reworked it into something else - something scarier yet more restrained. And not sexual assault. (Yep, that's gone. Well, it will be once I re-release it.)
Fixing that scene kind of opened a floodgate of all these little issues that have niggled me for years. I've grown so much since I published it in 2016 - not just in my writing but in my knowledge of the characters and the world. I mean, when I wrote Sowing, I had no idea what my rebel leader is really doing in the city and what he's all about. I just thought he was, ya know, a rebel leader... HA. He and Rab were never meant to be characters - they were both dead for the first few years that I wrote in this world, so I didn't know them very well. (Plus, he doesn't tell me anything. I have to drag information out of him, and even then, he's a sneaky little liar... *grumbles*)
I love Sowing. I am so very proud of it. I poured myself into that book. But I didn't have a plan. I knew sort of where the series was heading, but not like I knew it by the time I got through Quelling. I didn't set up hints of the main conflict because I didn't know it. I didn't show some of the subtler things going on in the world because they weren't in my head yet. That, and while writing Sowing, some story elements changed, but I didn't integrate those changes as well as I could have.
It morphed from a thing of, "I can fix this one scene that people hate," to, "Okay, while I'm here, what else needs fixed? What needs better explained? How can I show ____ better?"
I'm still working on it. I've added like 6k to the overall count (and that doesn't count parts that I've replaced without adding much to the count). It'll go to my editor soon. It is already so, so much better. Some parts have gotten a more intense revision (basically just that one part). Some parts are brand new. Most of the changes are little - a couple of sentences on this page, a paragraph here, a few words there... Quelling will get a few tweaks as well for consistency issues, but otherwise, it's not changing. This is it for Sowing too, promise. That's why I'm taking my time, making sure I address everything that needs addressed.
And as soon as I finish with Sowing and release the second edition, I'll be back to work on Illusion and Reflection (Em and Hasi's story).
To those who love Sowing: thank you.
To those who have given feedback on the tweaked sections: thank you.
To those who read it, hated it, and left critical reviews: thank you.
To those who read this far: thank you as well.
There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.