When “Done” Isn’t “Done”

Hide and Seek is done. Well, very nearly, anyways.

Last night I wrote, and today I posted, the final chapter in my longest Special People story arc yet. It was Chapter 55, and the total length of the story is about 50,000 words.

I have a brief epilogue to write, containing one final scene, and then that’ll be that. The story will be finished and I can move on.

Except not quite.

My long-term goal with Special People is to package up the story arcs into (self-)publishable, printable books and sell them through my Store, alongside my other writing. Why hasn’t that happened yet? After all, I’d already completed three story arcs before I even started Hide and Seek.

Well, put simply, it’s because those stories aren’t ready to publish. It isn’t enough for me to wrap up the serialization of the story and get every chapter up on the website; I also have to deal with editing and, in some cases, rewriting, and there’s nothing that shuts down my creative urges like rewriting… Yuck.

Of the stories I’ve written for Special People so far, I’d say Hide and Seek is maybe in the most publishable shape, though Who Killed Walter Carton? came out pretty decently, too. (Trends suggest that I’m getting better over time!) But before I can release Hide and Seek as a novel, I know for sure that there’s one specific chapter I have to significantly rewrite, because I forgot to factor in the use of a character’s special ability, and I’m pretty certain there are a variety of problems with the continuity and flow of the story, simply due to the fact that my writing time was spread out over such a long time period. I guarantee I’ve forgotten some of the details of the early story, and made some blunders in the later chapters because of it.

Then, on top of all that, I have to consider whether it would even make sense to publish Hide and Seek before putting out the arcs that came before it. This is a tricky one, because Hide and Seek actually takes place 10 years before Hands-On and King of the Dark, and doesn’t require knowledge of those stories, but I feel like those earlier arcs may do a better job of introducing the reader to the Special People “universe” and its primary character(s).

If I decide that I want to publish the stories in the order I wrote them, that means I have to revisit my plans to rewrite Hands-On and King of the Dark. There’s a great road plan laid out for me to do so, but it’s going to take time to do it, and like I said, that doesn’t exactly get my creative juices flowing.

Thankfully, I’m going to have a month to work through whichever set of edits or rewrites I decide to pursue, while the comic, Change, gets posted. I’ll keep everyone updated on my plans as and when I make any decisions.

6 thoughts on “When “Done” Isn’t “Done””

  1. Hum… rewriting is tough. I myself write a little but since you completed several story and I never could do more than a half novel that didn’t progressed at all during… more than the last year I doubt I could really give you advice on writing…

    I think you shoul publish the books in the order you wrote them, there is a gradualness. Hands-on is the softer one, with very little violence, and the following stories get a little deeper and darker each time. When you read the first story you begin by thinking that almost everyone is nice and that all is well but the more you read the more you discover… and there is a lot of skeletons in the closets.

    Before you star rewriting I would advise you to just read, read every chapter and short stories like a new reader would. Continuity error tend to show up when you do that. That would also give you time to think about the parts you feel the need to rewrite.

    I don’t know if I’m being helpful here, every writer is different and feels comfortable doing things his way so maybe mine won’t work out for you.

    1. That’s good advice, Ace, and I’m leaning in that direction. The only thing pulling me towards doing Hide and Seek first is that I’m relatively close to the story right now, so I think I could get it out the door more quickly and maybe build some “momentum” to get the rest done.

      Overall, though, I think you’re right: it would likely be wisest to do the early storylines first.

  2. As another guy who´s doing a Project =)

    From what I´ve gathered your Stuff is pretty big, no? (sorry Im a fan of loadingreadyrun who just discovered twitter).

    Anyway. I welcome rewriting. I felt it sucked, and If you feel you got your stuff on the page as you like it, it does. However!

    I find that my stuff gets Better each rewriting, Each Retelling. You build your Voice, the Engagement you mine from your Story. I know you already gotten Pretty good at that, but I find it that that this Mindset helps.

    When you gotten it “good enough” try and let it go.

    Myself I am glad what ive done. If I haden´t taken all the time to rewrite, retell and Rework my stuff, it would´ve been a heap. Now its slitghlly lessa heap.

    Good luck to you!

  3. as a story editor, I say you DON’T have to change that chapter. His power requires concentration, and he was just bashed about and screwed with. He forgot. You even had him realize that. I would play it up a bit more in the NEXT chapter, him shouting, I think this guy is alive. And the reply, THINK? doesn’t your power tell you?

    1. That’s an interesting take on it, and I’ll keep it in mind when I look at that chapter again! Thanks for the input and vote of confidence on how I handled it. :)

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