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A new start

9 Jun

It was going well. I had 18 sales, a 3-star rating on Goodreads but something was missing. At first, I didn’t know what it was. Somehow, I wasn’t completely happy with the book.

But the literary consultancy helped me figure it out. They assessed my manuscript and had many useful comments and suggestions. One of the suggestions was that I change the time period. They observed that I have an old-fashioned writing style (from reading all those classics) and some aspects of my story had a period vibe. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of contemporary literature and that showed in my writing.

Well, I gave it some thought and initially considered changing it to the 50’s. They mentioned the 70’s but I have no connection with that decade – too much orange and green for me to cope with. But the 50’s prevented me from using the technology that had become an important part of the sequel (which, I had started writing in my mind).

Then I remembered how I had actually wanted the story to be Victorian. That’s when it struck me. Steampunk! I should set the book in the Victorian age as I had always wanted to and add steampunk elements for technology. This way, I could still write a paranormal fantasy and it would fit perfectly. I could be myself, write period.

I also ended up agreeing with the editor about another comment: there were too many characters. So I started over with the plot outline and eliminated the characters that weren’t crucial to the plot. I gave my main character her mother back (in Exogenesis, her parents were divorced) and reduced the love interests from two to one. Much better. I scrapped a few nosy neighbours and resolved to remove the early focus on the police investigation and instead, work on building a credible relationship with the love interest.

I’m really getting somewhere now and my best friend and illustrator already supplied me with a fabulous drawing of Siobhan in steampunk attire. I kept the opening of the story and picked up after the first paragraph. So far, I’m pleased. I love history and as a retired re-enactor I feel knowledgeable enough to paint an accurate picture of the time. That being said, I fully intend to do the necessary research. Amazon has some excellent Victorian books I will explore.