Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

I am swimming in revisions right now.

I received the latest draft of Knight of Valor back, and it looked like a field of poppies with the amount of red comments on it.

Amount right.

Sad, really, for an eighteenth draft, though most of the comments revolve around letting the hero’s personality shine through and maybe showing a bit more of the broken side of his character.

He, of course, wants no part of that. He wants to be the strong silent type that you can rely on. Which he is, but he’s also been through hell and back and survived. He’s not the naïve and idealistic youth he once was. And that’s okay. Both he and I need to be more comfortable letting some of those broken pieces show through, at least for the reader.

So, yeah, this has been an exhausting rewrite.

But, I will say, the story is better for it. I feel like the changes I am making help better convey Sir Marcus’s character and explain why he is my favorite of all the heroes I have written to date.

Or the eighteenth

It will probably take me at least the rest of the month, maybe longer, to finish the rewrite. Then, I need to walk away for at least two weeks.

Four would be better so that I can look at the manuscript with fresh eyes.

Okay, all right, sort of fresh eyes. After nineteen revisions, I’m not sure I’ll ever have truly fresh eyes for this piece again.

I have updated my goals in Wunderlist to track the extra revisions I need to put in.

Not exactly what I wanted to show you, but it’s real.


It’s basically two more months’ worth of work.

And yes, my OCD would really like to call February finished, except it isn’t. There were things in that month to accomplish to launch Knight of Valor in April. Just as there are things in March I was supposed to do to get ready for a book launch as well.

But, you can see if you add the progress of February, March and April together, I am a little father ahead than where I had planned to be this time in mid-March.

I am not sure I can do the extra things needed for Knight of Valor and stay on track with my other writing goals this year. Plus, I still don’t know what else will throw me off schedule.

And that’s okay.

I am making progress. I can see that.

There may be unforeseen things along the journey, but I am still traveling it.

Goal Update: A Bit of a Delay

My beta reader was taking a bit longer than normal on this particular piece of work, and while I was a bit worried about it, they have a very busy life.

Yeah, that wasn’t it (though they do). Nice try on my part.

She gave me some high level feedback explaining why it was taking a bit longer.

The look she gave me was very similar.

There will be a bit of a delay in releasing Knight of Valor.

She noted I needed to tighten my beginning. Doable within my original release date timeline.

More than that, I needed to flesh out my hero in the beginning. She thought he felt flat. I cringed a little, knowing why she was saying it and where it came from.

I wrote this book over four years ago. It was one of three books I completed when I first got back into writing, and the only one I loved the characters enough to try to salvage. The other two are now buried on my hard drive and are not fit for human eyes.

But I loved Sir Marcus. I wanted to do him justice. And through him and his story, and I pushed myself to do better as a writer. His story helped me learn a lot about finding my voice, plot and character development, and even trusting myself as a writer.

So, I’d set Knight of Valor aside for a while and work on other things, become a better writer, and tackle this story again.

During the process, I read a whole bunch of craft books. And you can see their influence on the story. One of them was how to write a romance hero…and I did Sir Marcus a lot of disservice. Granted, he overcomes the bad writing advice towards the middle on the book, but it takes him a while.

I may be shabby from time to time, but his faith in me in strong.

At the time, they were telling romance authors that romance readers wanted alpha heroes. Don’t even bother writing anything else as it won’t sell and an agent won’t want it. So I changed him.

And he was no longer Sir Marcus.

Don’t misunderstand me. He is neither meek nor mild. He was not the “chosen one” and forced to do anything. He saw evil, and if there was a chance he could destroy that evil, he had to try. He dedicated most of his life training to do just that.

But he’s still a genuinely nice guy. The kind of person who’d come over and help you fix your roof because he heard you were having trouble without being asked. You’d share an ale afterwards, and that would be all the thanks he’d need or want.

Punch a kid or kick or dog? You don’t want him to see you do that.

Kill a village to fuel a evil spell?

Time to run. Fast.


So, I need to let his true personality shine through the first half of the book as well as the second. No easy task, that.

Oh, and I need to fix a plot hole, tighten up my pacing, and remove a few loose ends from earlier drafts I missed. And this is before I get back the full list of revisions.

*deep breath*

I see why this is taking a bit of time to get back the beta read. I also know I sent this out for just this reason.

I am literally on my eighteenth revision of this story. Yeah. Eighteenth. That I’ve counted. The first draft and several subsequent ones (no idea how how many four, maybe five?), I didn’t number and track. I am really close to this story, and I’ve put a lot of work into it. I can sometimes lose the forest through the trees. So I need more help on this than most.

It means a lot to me. I really want to get it right.

So, this is going to be a large revision, not a small tighten-things-up late game revision.

And that’s okay. Sir Marcus deserves the best story I can give him.

Yes, it means my entire plan for the year needs to change.

Yes, it means I will not make that April publishing deadline.

Both are okay.

I want to give you the best story I can.

Delaying the release date until June or July gives me the time to make it the best that I can right now.

You deserve that, and so does Sir Marcus.