Series Of Evolutions
Next series of posts will include the evolution of the opening scene to Whiskey Witches
Over the course of the next few posts, you’ll get to read the opening scene to Whiskey Witches.
2005 - 2007 Demons Are Jackasses
There were 18 different versions of this opening chapter before it was even published. But what I’m including in the next post is the version that was published in 2012.
As a younger author, there were certain things I did really well, things that just came naturally to me. As I grew, I lost some of that and I kind of think I got some of it back, though it’s more refined.
I was really good with feeling things when I was younger. I was… oh, gods. Uh, in my late 20s at the time. I hadn’t even discovered myself, what I stood for, or what I even wanted. I was just discovering I even had a favorite color! That’s the level of discovery I was going through.
The grammar was okay, but the story telling in its rawness was good.
2008 - 2017 Whiskey Witches
Honestly, breaking from TLT Publishing was a great thing for me. They were a good publisher who was doing their best, something I realized only after trying to open my own publishing house and failing. I was not grateful at the time, but I think I was headed down an unmarketable mess. If I’d stayed with them, I would have mucked through three books and I would probably have been done.
I changed Paige’s name from Ansley to Whiskey. That alone had a huge impact. Whiskey Witches is memorable, it’s fun, and there’s a lot we can do with it. But I also had the freedom to play a lot more, to try things out.
I took a lot of classes on writing, and read a lot of books on structure and how to write to market.
The things that came naturally to me were chiseled away and I think during this time I lost a lot of what made me a neat writer. There were aspects that were better. My story structure, for one, improved a hundred times over, for instance.
This is not my favorite version of this story, though.
After Para Wars was launched, I wanted to find different ways to make this entire Whiskey-verse take off. By this point, I had a cover that was selling, but the writing was not.
After reading through, I realized I had a book filled with passive telling passages, reminiscent of the 70s and 80s where we had a lot more room to sit back and enjoy a full story.
The 2020 revision did away with a lot of the passive telling passages and replaced them with more active voice. It was a good update, but I didn’t want to change too much of it so that the audiobook Kalinda Little had recorded for me was still viable.
2023 Collector’s and Author’s Editions
Updating the book from passive to active voice helped read-through a little, but it still wasn’t enough. After sitting down and really investing myself into reading through, I realized that with all the revisions from 2005 till now, the book had timeline conflicts, it was dated - I had Leslie mentioning leaving home without her cell phone which… I mean, I’ve had one since 2007? I think? IDR now, but it’s been a long time.
October Eclipse released 25-Apr-23, and with it came a narrative that’s easy to adapt to audio. My writing narrative now has an easy flow, it sounds natural, and is fun to enjoy even when you’re lacking the energy to pay copious amounts of attention.
This update was a major one. I added deleted scenes back in. I deleted a few that weren’t needed. I altered entire scenes to make them make sense, and added a thread that had somehow been deleted since the original manuscript; the war witch thread.
You tell me… is it better?
If you’ve got a few minutes, read through the next few posts and see what you think about the revisions that were made. I think this latest revision is a winner and I can’t wait to see where this one takes us.
A million readers, baby!! That’s what I want! And a TV deal! And interviews on big networks—
And… maybe I’ll just keep writing.
Frankie Jo's Storyland is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.