Ebook under way

Regular followers of this blog will know that I intend to spend the rest of this year editing my old short stories for inclusion in a compiled ebook that I’m hoping to have ready to go on sale at Amazon by the end of the year. It will contain mostly re-edited older material but I expect it will also have some newer stuff too.

A couple of nights ago, I started editing Herrenvolk. Having read through it twice, I’m actually very happy with the content of the story and made only superficial changes to the plot.

The biggest task – and I didn’t expect this to be as thorough as it turned out – is how unhappy I was with the actual writing. I cringed on several occasions at how badly worded some of it was. I have now finished editing Herrenvolk and I think the new edit flows much better with tighter storytelling (the original is still here if you want to read it). Even though it was only 3500 words long, I felt that in places it was overwritten. Some other areas I felt deserved or required expanding or clarification to add colour to Nazi-era Berlin and the situation in which our young spy finds himself. The narrative and dialogue flows much better now and I changed a couple of minor plot points that didn’t make sense to me. It is actually longer, I’ve added between 200-300 words and I much prefer this version.

So far it has been an interesting exercise in seeing how my writing style has changed over the years (Herrenvolk is about 10 years old) as I can better understand how grating passive voice can sound, identify where I have mixed tenses and point of view (originally it hopped around – I decided that I didn’t like this. It is now told entirely from her perspective). I also used words that didn’t really fit with the text, cliches, unnecessary exposition and strange similes. I hope I’m going to find the exercise useful for when I come to work on the novel in 2013.

Incidentally, some two or three years after I first published Herrenvolk on Elfwood, it became an editor’s pick as one of the best of the site :)

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