The Debut / by Josh Guess




So, the linky picture here is for my debut novel, Bound to silence. I'm very interested to see how it does, and I will be giving a running account of how it fares on the Kindle store over the next...forever.

I learned so much about the craft of writing while working on this book. Writing Living With the Dead was a big help, and I could clearly see its influence on my work as I edited and revised. What I ended up with was a novel that is good, but not one of the greats. I'm new at this, I know I won't be compared with Tolkien.

It is pretty good though, and that's important to me.

A big part of what I learned during the process of writing this book was as much what not to do as what to do. My writing improved a lot over the last nine months or so, and that made it harder and harder to edit my novel. I could see, especially early on, where I had tried to hard. It was the last 70% of my book where I started to relax and speak in my own voice. It helped me a lot to see what mistakes I had made, and I realized over the last month or so that there has to be a balance to your work.

Some authors will revise for years before putting out a novel. Most of them are established names or hobbyists who can afford the time to do that. I discovered I am not one of them. This process has taught me so much about how to write, that my future novels will each be better than the last. This one is good, but in the end I realized that if I went through and addressed everything that I wanted to polish and change, so many nitpicky details, that I would have been at it for another year.

I'm so worn out from working full time, and stressed about so many things that spending another year on this book simply wasn't an option. It was starting to not be fun anymore, and that's not a good sign for the writer. Then I had to ask myself--ok, if not a year, then how long? Ten months? Six months? Two weeks? How long should I spend in additional edits now that I have finished months of major revisions?

Think about it. I have grown as a writer, and I will keep growing. It seems to me that I would continue to expand my ability while working on that book, and would ALWAYS be able to find something else wrong, some reason to edit just a bit longer.

So, I decided to publish. I've put in a lot of work, time, and precise effort into it, and I knew that if I didn't do it, I probably never would.

It isn't the book it could have been. But then, I would have been fifty before it was done. But it is a good book, with good cannon and story, an adventurous pace, and epic consequences. It's well worth the price, and a fun read.

Try it out.