Wednesday, June 8, 2016


When I first published Wearing Donnie Torr in 2010, I did not hesitate to think if it was ready or not. Which was a big mistake on my part. A while ago I went back and revised Mr. Dead Eyes. I removed clunky sentences, reworked some scenes and added new dialogue. It made me feel overall better about the book. That happened in 2013.

I was somewhat dreading going back to WDT based on the fact that when I first published it, after what I thought was a good enough edit for $200 dollars, I went ahead and published it to Kindle.

The entire document was 103,000 words.


So yeah, it was way too wordy.

I mustered up my courage, found the old manuscript on a flash drive and took a peak. It's amazing what six years can do to a manuscript. I remember the words just tumbling out of me when I first wrote it. But now that I was staring at it years later and a little wiser on how to write a book; I couldn't help but go back and revise WDT too. I've since unpublished the kindle version, though you can still get the print copy.

Here's a quick pic of the progress.

The blocks highlighted in red are the parts that are getting cut. I was amazed at how many things I found when looking back on it:

  1. Clunky sentences
  2. Overuse of Commas
  3. Repeated sentences
  4. Confusing sentences

They all had to go.

Now the manuscript is about  83,000 words long.

That's 20,000 words I've cut from the original.

Also, it needed a title change. Wearing Donnie Torr was just something I slapped on there. But my wife and I talked about it during a trip back from Chicago, and she had nailed down everything the book encompassed in one word: Reviled.

But I think this identifies a common question when it comes to writing: How often should you revise a work?

Gene Fowler once said, "A book is never finished; it's abandoned."

I'm not saying that a manuscript is like a good friend where you can always pay a visit. I think it's safe to drop in and see if the work still makes as much sense as it did when you first wrote it. If not, revise. Make it clearer. Don't go Full-George Lucas and keep updating it with new characters and pump it full of prose that just ends up being filler anyways.

There was one case where Stephen King, fresh from writing three books, presented a copy of The Stand to his publisher Double Day in 1978. They were intimidated with it's size and thought it might sell better if it wasn't such a behemoth. So, willing to play it safe, King went back and cut 400 pages from the actual book. The final product came out to 1,200 pages. Years later, he released an uncut version because there was a demand for it.

Honestly, the author has to make the call whether to go back and tinker, to fix what was still cloudy. But I can say that I do not miss those 20k words I cut. They slowed everything down.

Now you can get your hands on a copy of Reviled on for only $2.99.

Click here to get a copy!

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