This book is very, very different from the first book I wrote. Looking back, I learned a ton from writing that first book though. More than I realized at the time. So here are (as the title suggests) things I did different this time around.
- Picked a different genre. First book. Young adult/dystopian. I went in with grand plans. It was going to be the next hunger games. I was going to be a millionaire. Blah, blah, blah, blah. Maybe not that high of expectations…but higher than they should have been. That is a tough genre. Its super saturated. And many of the readers that you would normally want to target aren’t using kindle. So yeah. This time. I went with a historical fiction/political thriller. Still a fairly saturated market. Especially the political thriller part, but the thriller/historical combo significantly less so.
- Used shorter sentences. I am the master of run on sentences. Seriously. The more words you can string together in one long sentence the better in my opinion. So. This was a huge departure for me. It lends itself to a lighter, peppier pace (in my opinion). For this book it works.
- Show vs. tell. This was the biggest difference in my writing. And it happened mainly by accident. I originally wrote what was the first chapter in my normal style. A bit later I decided that I really needed some back story to be included for it to make sense. So I backed up and added a prologue. Then I decided that a. I hate prologues and b. it really worked better as the first chapter and c. the style was way better than what I had written for my original first chapter. It took me awhile to figure out why the responses/critiques/reviews were so much better but once I saw it… I saw it. If that makes any sense. In the “prologue” I was showing. In the original first chapter I was telling. Pretty big difference in reader engagement.
Other than reading the book myself (and I personally find it hard to be objective about my own writing)…. I only have the critique websites I use to give me an idea if the book so far is any good. So far it looks like it is. Most of the critiques are overall positive. Most of the feedback I agree with or had been considering already. I’m getting critiques quickly (with my first book I received critiques but they came in slower), and the same critiquers have been following my book. They remember it even though I will go pretty significant periods of time without posting anything (or as long as you can go when you write a book in 4 months anyways). All good signs anyways. Even then there is still a ton of work/editing/rewriting to do.