Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Second Thoughts and Second Editions

For a long time now, I've been promising to release the revised second edition of Unreliable Histories and its sequel, The Endless Land. It's taken longer than I would have liked but the job is at last complete; both second editions are now online.

Each book is about 5,000 words shorter than the respective original and I've simplified some lines that were, admittedly, getting a wee bit straggly and bramble-like. There are also some minor scene-tweaks that give more emphasis to a young apprentice wizard named Tymacht Jul.  (Given that it's a pastiche of conventional fantasies, I felt the story should contain at least one young apprentice.)

The revisions have largely been the result of feedback from fellow indie writers and, most recently, from the Authonomy editors mentioned in my last post. It's always very interesting to gather impartial feedback, but I do wish I was better at identifying the common threads...

As it is, the messages are mixed. It's probably fair to say that the majority of readers and reviewers - including those who are thinking primarily in terms of commercial appeal - regard the new structure as leaner, faster paced and more immediately engaging. However, there are others (including some authors and bloggers whose opinions I really respect) who say they liked the original and wouldn't want to see it 'messed with.'

It's a difficult balancing act - trying to retain all the elements that people say they like whilst paring the whole thing down to a size and pace that more people are prepared to read. It's a job I've been attempting for the last few weeks and, to begin with, I really wasn't confident it could be done. Now, however, having shaved a few thousand words off each book, I'm happy that the heart and character of the story have been kept intact, but that the general reading experience has been improved. I'm biased, of course, but I hope others will agree.

Other Indie Novels:

One welcome consequence of having finished the second editions is that, finally, I have some free time - hence my immediate return to this sadly neglected blog.

It also means I can take the opportunity to congratulate Corben Duke and Mark Roman, whose co-authored sci-fi comedy The Worst Man on Mars made it to the Authonomy Editor's Desk at the end of last month. I'm extremely pleased for them.

Following close behind is Alastair Miles' Going Afterlife, which should very soon be getting the credit and attention it deserves.

A newer contender is Ray Holland's Letters from a Shipwreck in the Sea of Suns and Moons. An adventure tale, a mystery and a 'romance of memory', it's quite the most addictive thing I've read in a very long time. It's my current #amreading and, to be blunt, it's brilliant. Annoyingly so, in fact. That Mr Holland has a quantity of talent that is close to maddening. The book's not on sale yet but you can read it here on Authonomy.

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