Edits and Shiny New Toys


Half of me is thrilled to be going full tilt on the editorial review of The Gift Legacy books for WindStorm Press. The work invigorates me and the view from my writing desk inspires me.

The other half of me is chomping at the bit to get back into the new material. Four exciting projects stamp their feet at the gate. It’s shiny new toy syndrome, and it tempts me.

But I know my limits and the review requires my full attention. The shiny new toys will have to wait. Besides, the more hours I devote to the review, the faster I’ll get back to the shiny new toys.

The opportunity to revamp the books and their covers came with the new publisher. Over the years I’ve grown as a writer, so I jumped at the opportunity to re-visit these early books.

The goal is to ensure the story and language are as tight as they can be. Here’s a sampling of what I’m doing (the crossed-out words are gone, the underlined words are new):

  1. Better and active verb choice:

There was a lot of laughter cascaded around us and I welcomed the change from the gloom that Cassandra cast over us moments earlier.

  1. Removing unnecessary dialogue tags that can slow down the pace.

Oh, god, no. I knew what this was. I had to stop him. “No! Don’t go!” I shouted.

  1. Tightening the prose:

If you missed the sound of waves, you might just smell the briny air or catch a whiff of briny air or pungent seaweed in the ocean breeze.

The changes are small, but powerful. I’m halfway through the review and excited with the results. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Meantime, enjoy the sunrise.

You can get Penance, the latest book in The Gift Legacy series here.

About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in Editing, On Publishing, On Writing, The Gift Legacy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Edits and Shiny New Toys

  1. L.A. Smith says:

    Every little bit makes a difference. It’s always amazing to me to look back at previous stories that I thought were quite good and see all the problems with them now. But a sign of growth as a writer, and that’s a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like your changes. As you say, those small changes can make prose more powerful. Love your work ethic. And your view! Stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bianca Bowers says:

    I’m thrilled that you’ve got the opportunity to revise your earlier works, JP. As writers, we learn and sharpen our skills on a daily basis. It never ceases to amaze me how much I grow year to year, which is especially apparent when I revisit old work.
    I would be very interested to re-read book 1 when its finished.
    Congrats on the new publisher & all your hard work 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nigel says:

    As an old programmer I get it – it’s like tightening up the previous code to make it more efficient. Having said that (overused statement), you could see the progression though the books as you became more proficient and more comfortable with your writing. I do still have one burning question – how far away are we from answering some of the untold stories in the books?

    Liked by 1 person

    • JP McLean says:

      Sure wish I could write as fast as you can read. To answer your burning question, the next book in the series is at the outline stage, so hang in there. There is one “whatever happened to…” question I get asked a lot, and that answer is coming, but “untold stories?” Hmm, I’m very interested in your thoughts. Please email me at jpmbooks(at)xplornet.com.


  5. reocochran says:

    It would be so hard to have to spend so much time on editing and I like the expression, “chomping at the bit!” Made me smile, J.P. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • JP McLean says:

      So nice of you to stop by! Welcome, and glad I could make you smile. I was told by a very good source that it is properly spelled “champing” at the bit, but I like the view from out on the limb.


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