Today I finished a read-through and a clean-up of the second Obloeron novel, re-titled The Return To Lowbridge. After a hard clean-up of The Quest For The Chalice last Friday, I jumped into Return on Monday.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but yes, I admit it: I was a bad writer a decade ago. Passive voice, head hopping... those two dreadful writer no-no's littered my prose from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, page to page. After a month and a half of work, I've removed them to the best of my ability through the first two books. I now know what an old author friend meant when I made the same mistakes book after book, and I'm glad that part of me is finally gone. Still, I want to bash my head against the wall when I re-read my writing from that time in my life, if only to remind myself that I'm a different writer, a better writer, a decade after the fact. So far, with the edits I've made in both books, the story is a thousand percent better than it was five-plus years ago when it came out on Kindle. I'm thoroughly convinced of this.
I lost about 5,000 words--quite a few pages, to be precise; mostly of passive voice and head-hopping--in Return, and with the words I added in Quest I'm currently -2,000 or so in the hole as I head into the final book of the original Trilogy, The Fall Of Myrindar, which I may start tomorrow or Friday, depending on how long it takes to handle the beta notes of Travel Agent--yes, Jaclyn will be back soon. I also want to wait a few months before I return to Return--did you see what I did there?--in order to see how much I can add to this middle story. I believe I can use one of the short stories as a flashback like I did in Quest, but the problem with that is I'd make one chapter some 10,000-15,000 words longer; it would have the feel of Tolkien's chapter in Rivendell where everyone's trying to decide what to do with the Ring before Frodo goes to Mordor. I don't really want a 40-page chapter. I'm willing to bet you don't want to read a 40-page chapter, either.
(And if you think I added the words Tolkien, Rivendell, Frodo, and Mordor just to get Google hits.... you don't know me very well.)
Back to work soon, and the light at the end of the tunnel for this first stage of the re-writing/revising process grows larger.