The cover to my novel The Waxing Moon.
I’ve discovered something about myself when it comes to my books: I’m protective. It’s often said that books are like an author’s child. I understand why. Aside from the time and effort it takes to write a book, it’s a part of you. Or perhaps to say it another way, the book is in many ways an extension of you as a person.
To that end, when it comes to editing the book, it can be hard to step back and listen to what your editor says. Around 6,500 words were cut from The Waxing Moon. It wasn’t whole sections. It was extra details that bogged down the book.
I didn’t have that issue with my first book, The Hidden Sun, and I couldn’t help but wonder what changed this time.
I came to a conclusion. Whereas The Hidden Sun was nearly 100,000 words, when working on The Waxing Moon, I realized I didn’t have enough story to make it similar in length. Somewhere in my mind, I must have thought, I really need this to be longer—let me add more details. Even with the extra fluff, I ended at 60,000 words.
So, I wrote an addition several chapters and tacked it on the end.
However, the preview, or “beta” readers picked up on that. It was like two different books. And then, inspiration struck. During this time, I was getting feedback from readers about The Hidden Sun. As it turns out, one of the popular characters was a villain. I had no intention of continuing his story, but I thought, why not?
I ended up cutting the extra chapters (some of which will be rewritten and included in The Zealous Star) writing a parallel story to the main one and had them intertwine. In the end, it works really well.
Lessons learned? Be protective of your vision for your book. At the same time, be willing to realize that outside perspectives can make it better and will help you realize things you may not see because you are too close to the book.