Blood and Motive was the first book I wrote and is constantly teaching me. It was filled with all of my terrible writing habits, and the process of recognizing and improving those flaws in Blood and Motive has been more extensive than in any of my other novels. Instead of shelving it like others do with their first attempts, I stubbornly kept editing it because I always liked the story.
The reason why it’s taken years to get Blood and Motive at this point despite having successfully written four books after it, was that its length at 125,000 words made it difficult for me to read through it in a reasonable amount of time due to lack of spoons. Gaining more energy this past year to read faster while retaining more of what still needs to be changed has been so helpful. Before, I had edited the book in 3 pieces, and as a result, the quality of those parts have been wildly inconsistent.
The energetic me who worked on the first third of that book, put out tight dialogue, satisfactory end scenes, and emotions that can pull in readers. The tired me working on the second part, left a mess of fractured scenes, no emotion to irrational character behavior that creates little impact when they make mistakes or encounter grief, and scenes with so little detail that you can only imagine stick figures talking in white rooms. The slightly more energized me who really wanted to work on battle scenes, got her shit together for the last third of the book but still needs to do another editing pass.
It’s been a trial editing this book, but it really makes me happy how far Blood and Motive has come throughout the years. I guess the point of this post is to trust your gut when it comes to writing, and no advice is written in stone. Yes, my first book was a mess, but thank goodness I didn’t throw it in a drawer forever(that was the major writing rule back then) and decided to salvage it, editing a bit at a time while publishing other work.