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Burning the Devil

Man, this book is giving me fits.

I’m working! I’m writing! But every time I think I’ve gotten somewhere, I realize there’s more to do. Then I volunteer to beta or I get involved in a new Netflix series (Strange Things! Dark Matter! Limitless!) or rewatch one of my favorite series (Supernatural! The Walking Dead!). I take road trips or play video games, (We Happy Few!) and procrastinate because this story is more complicated than I first imagined.

It started as a dream. (A lot of my books have.) It was an intense dream, one that sat there at the front of my brain and wouldn’t let go. I wrote out the story my dream gave me in two days. Over 60,000 words in two days. That’s crazy. That’s more than I’ve ever written in such a short time before or since. Then I let it sit because I didn’t know what the ending would be. Well, I knew, but I couldn’t accept it, so I put it away.

I raised kids. I wrote other things. This book sat there, fermenting.

I went back to it. Rewrote it. Set it aside because this new version wasn’t right, either. Why the heck couldn’t I write this thing?

I read more writing books. (I love reading books about writing. It’s an addiction.) I took notes. I pondered. I wrote more books.

I went back to the book and REWROTE IT AGAIN. (From scratch, mind you.) It still wasn’t right, but it was getting a little closer. I felt that. So I put it aside and did all of the above again.

Now I’m working through the book again, reshaping it, aligning it to my vision of the story as it could be, as it needs to be if I’m to call it finished.

So. That’s why I haven’t published it yet. I had intended to but I just couldn’t let it go out there the way it was because it wasn’t what it was meant to be.


I have made progress and I will keep working on it so that Gwen can have her shining moment in the sun.

When I need to work on the story, but I can’t make myself work on the actual novel, I play with the logline and blurb. Here, check this out:

For a poor mechanic with a traumatic past, life is about survival, but she’s haunted by the unsolved murder of her sister. When new clues turn up in the swirl of dark rumors surrounding a charismatic movie star, she must hunt down the killer even if it means risking everything.

Now, I’m not saying this is perfect. Already I’m itching to fiddle with everything after “but,” but I will say it’s been a good exercise for me to write and rewrite it. (I probably wrote 50 different versions!)

I guess, my point with this post is twofold:

  1. Please forgive me that I haven’t gotten this book done and published yet. Even though it’s hard work, I’m digging the work, if you can believe that. I’ve been working on slowing down some of my descriptions, fleshing out my characters and setting more, and playing with word choices and images in a way I haven’t deliberately done before.
  2. It’s okay if your first draft doesn’t work. Or your second. Or your third. Keep working. You’ll get there. Failure isn’t a bad thing. Failure means you’ve tried to do something, and that is important. Check out the founder of Spanx for her excellent take on failure:

Anyhoodles, I’ll keep on writing this damn book until it’s done. (Maybe it’ll be ready for Halloween!)

Question: I’ve been thinking about having the different versions of this book available to read, maybe as a bonus in the ebook, maybe as a free download for anyone who’s interested. What do you think? Would that be something you’d want? Yay or nay?

I hope you have a great week!

Until then, keep calm and don’t lick your cat. (Hairy tongues are the worst.)


Published inWriting

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