Having just rewritten the first half of my third book, Reawakening, I’m going over my editor’s notes again before I move on to the second half. As wonderful as she is, she tends to repeat things a lot, probably to hammer in the lessons I need to learn and skills I need to acquire. While having those weaknesses is my fault, it made realize one thing–I’m no longer the same person I once was.
Writing The Passage of Hellsfire is an interesting thing. Since it’s in first person, I have to write as if it’s my own thoughts and feelings. I first started it when the series began so Hellsfire was the same age as me. Basically, a lot of me is in him. Now while a lot of me is in Hellsfire, not all of me is. Sure, I have the same fears and thoughts at times, but I don’t have the responsibility or the power he has, and I live in a completely different and boring world. But I’m straying from my point.
The earlier drafts of my books are very different from what I ended up putting out. While my editor does a great job at pointing out suggestions and what needs work, it’s also my state of mind that affected my writing.
I wrote the earlier drafts from Catalyst to Reawakening about 10-15 years ago and I was a different person then than I am now. The core of who and what I am are essentially the same, but the way I go about things is different. I’m not as ruled by emotions as I was nor do I care about frivolous things as much anymore. I guess you can say I’ve grown as a person. And as my editor keeps beating into me, that growth must also be shown in Hellsfire.
It does make me wonder though. How did Sir Arthur Doyle deal with Sherlock or Ian Fleming deal with James Bond? Those are static characters who never changed. Did they just have to worry about plot and whether the mystery made sense or the story was full of action?
Writing’s weird. As a writer, you put a lot of yourself into your work even if you’ll never do the things your characters will or be put into those extraordinary situations. I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old and looking back, my skills have changed and grown over time. I’m no longer writing in the same place even if I still believe in some of the same themes and ideas. And I guess that’s what being a writer is all about.