This week the topic is: ‘Tell us your biggest business lesson learned. If you were to start your writing career all over again, what would you do differently?’
I sometimes wish I could start my writing career all over again. I started off in 2013 by writing ‘The Porn Detective’, which I unpublished in 2016 in order to re-write it using the lessons I had learned since the original publication in October 2013.
Basically the first and biggest thing I did wrong was that I rushed the book and it was published too soon. As we all do when we start out, I had a yearning to see my book on the Amazon website. I had sent it off to a few agents before publishing it; one of which debated whether or not to represent me before replying in the negative. Another one replied to say it was a good effort, but I had to start the story with some kind of conflict and instead of writing about several events, to focus on just a couple and draw them out and to contact her when I’d re-written it.
So I thought – to hell with it! I’m not re-writing the whole thing! I published the book. Yes, there it was in all its glory, and what was even better, people were buying it. Some liked it, and some didn’t. However, over the next few years I read up on what makes a good story and realised the agent was right in that books should start with some sort of conflict; I’d started with a wedding. Also I knew there were too many events taking place in the book, and it would be better if I could whittle them down to just a few but write about them in more depth.
So I re-wrote it and re-named it ‘Mind Games’. I sent the agent a copy who wanted me to contact her when I’d re-written it, but to date I’ve never heard anything back. I re-published it recently and so far it’s had one review. The reviewer would have preferred a more in-depth discussion of the nature of porn and addiction, and of the harm it does to those making the films and the people watching them. However, I wanted to show the effect of porn on a marriage. Also I’m of the opinion that I cannot please all of the people all of the time. If I chop and change the story to please one person, then probably somebody else will not like it and think it’s rubbish. You can’t win!
So to re-cap, I’d say make sure you don’t publish too soon, and that your first chapter opens in some kind of conflict to spark the reader’s interest.
More reviews would be welcome, especially commenting on what I’ve actually written (I can send a copy direct to your Kindle). Thank you!
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