Knowing you are bad is good
I had some good advice given about one of my earlier books. I haven't even cracked the spine on it in two years and I thought hey I'll go back but I doubt I'll have to make many changes because that was a pretty good book I wrote and by far my favourite.
I hang my head in shame. I was awful. There is tons of exposition and I take forever to get to anything of worth. The action is told instead of shown. How could I have been that bad? I have just given myself a massive job to go back and rewrite huge chunks of it. The good thing is that because it was so long ago I can be my own editor as I really can't remember much and certainly little of the actual writing.
The other good news is that I was bad. Actually, it is more that I recognise that I was bad. I've grown so much in the last two years that I can see the amateur mistakes I made. So here is a warning to those who go back and look at one of their stories from years ago and think, wow it is amazing. Is it? Or is it that you haven't developed during that time? Jenna Moreci is an author I follow on Youtube and she talks about how you should look at your manuscript at the end of writing it and think that bits of it are terrible because that means you've grown while you were writing. I like that thought. Do authors never stop getting better?
Well, some authors. I've noticed the big name authors have been putting out books that really wouldn't get good reviews. I read a Jean Johnson book recently. I love her romance and she has recently started writing more in the same world as her original books. I'm not much of a fan of her other work because she does annoying things like having double climaxes where nothing really gets resolved. The latest one rushed the ending. She sets up the brothers and then all of a sudden they are caught. OFF CAMERA! not even in the scenes so we don't even get to see it. Awful and yet she has a huge following.
I hope that one day I look back and think all my books are awful. That will be a good day.