Today, after what seems like such a very long time, Diary of the Wolf goes live on Amazon.
Yes, it is edition two but I think you’ll find it’s a completely different beast. Arriving four years after the original novel, this edition has the best part of a year’s worth of rewrites, edits and additional chapters.
With the first edition, I was pretty sure I had a good plot and some nice ideas. The action scenes were apparently fantastic. I’d left it dead in the water, unread and just ticking along on Amazon and Smashwords. When I picked it up again, I’ll admit to being somewhat embarrassed.
Spelling wasn’t the issue, although there were certainly some people who were praying instead of preying, but it was the general feel of it all. I published the first book when I was about 26. I’m now in my early 30s. While I suspect I may have matured as a person, I know for certain that I’ve matured as a writer.
My sex scenes were too explicit and descriptive. In fact, most of my descriptions were too descriptive. Too descriptive may seem like a crazy notion to some of you “how can something possibly be too descriptive? Descriptive is good!” but oh no, when you step back and look at the flow, you realise a thing or two. I learnt that from my good friend and guinea pig Chantal, who’d regularly complain in the margins that I was either lecturing the reader or describing things that were unnecessary.
So, the sex scenes were toned down. Nobody can really write as well as your imagination when it comes to such things. Plus, I didn’t want to create an adult book. I figure if your imagination is good enough to fill in the gaps, then you’re probably old enough to read it.
Next, lectures were removed. You don’t need to know Ciaran’s opinion on the environment. Sure, I can drop it in here and there in an off-hand remark, but there’s no need to go all Al Gore in the middle of a scene.
Descriptive passages were stripped wherever they went in to too much unnecessary detail or killed the flow. Remember I’m setting Diary of the Wolf in areas I know very well, so it’s tempting to try and capture things exactly. Unfortunately, if you’ve never been there, you’ll probably grow bored, or it will jar with the mountainside you’ve created in your mind. If you’ve never been on a granite mountain in temperate Ireland, I’d have to painstakingly describe every plant and animal for you to get the exact picture. Better to let you get on with the adventure and google some photos later.
Finally, I stepped back and looked at the narrative as a whole. In book one there could be an argument against my time-hopping, and I accept that, but I felt it was important to juxtapose old normal Ciaran with new wolf Ciaran. Plus I enjoy jumping around with the whole [Spoiler Redacted] storyline.
So there it is…
Grab it while it’s hawteh!