Almost four years ago, I published my first novel, At Center Line. Ironically, Beyond Center Line, it’s sequel, is set nearly four years after the events of At Center Line.
When I was 16, publishing a novel was a big deal for me–I had never planned to get published and I never thought my work was good enough for publication. So when I got accepted by Page Publishing in New York City, New York, I was completely ecstatic. Luckily, this excitement was able to be channeled into improving my work, however, my elation also got the better of me and I made many mistakes during the publication process.
One of my weaknesses is patience and unfortunately, this was reflected in the final product of At Center Line. As I look through my own copy, I find minor syntax issues that should have been fixed. Some words could have been stronger, scenes could be more dynamic, I could go on. These mistakes are a result of my lacking patience and my over zealous excitement to just finish editing.
A lot of my friends have asked if I blame the publisher for these mistakes and honestly, I don’t blame the publisher.
I was, and still am, very fortunate to be working with a company that believes that the author is the sole owner of their work. For this reason though, Page Publishing only provides a copy edit–streamlining the minuscule grammatical edits to ensure consistency–so that they do not intrude upon the author’s work. Essentially, I can’t blame my publisher for not catching the changes. It’s my job as the author to understand the direction and purpose of my own writing.
Despite my poor editing abilities at 16, I still knew exactly how I wanted my novel to look and I was ready to start promoting right away. I learned very quickly how to communicate exactly what I wanted for my cover design and started promoting my novel very quickly.
In the last four years, things have been going well. I’ve sold books, made a reputation on social media, participated in several book signings, have become a part of various supportive writing communities, and I’m expanding and learning more about writing everyday.
With all of this growth and the continued support, I’ve definitely approached my sequel differently.
Don’t worry, I won’t give away spoilers!
Through my work as a consultant and my growing openness to corrections and feedback as good news, I have come to thoroughly enjoy editing.
For the last 6 months, I have been working on editing and perfecting my manuscript to become a true reflection of my writing. As any of my writer friends know, editing is a tiresome and belaboring process, one that many of us dread. But with this time, I found that I was incredibly enthusiastic to begin working on the editing portion of my manuscript. Why? Because I wanted more than anything to ask myself the same complex questions that I ask other writers and I wanted to challenge myself to become better.
For me, editing wasn’t just making changes. Personally, I have found that editing is a reflection on my own writing: it’s pushing myself to be the best writer possible, and developing my voice in the public discourse.
So the story is essentially written better. So what?
Well there’s more…
This sequel is one of those tricky ones. At Center Line provided the surface setting for Threa and focused more on themes than characters. In many ways, I find this aspect of my writing very intriguing–but this was not what I wanted for my sequel.
Beyond Center Line is a prequel and a sequel. It’s a complete expansion of the world of Threa through evolving characters and dynamic plotlines. Additionally, at request of my morals and many of my readers, Beyond Center Line completes the multi-faceted two-part Center Line series.
Overall, Beyond Center Line establishes the absolute bounds of the world of Threa while maintaining a thorough and complex narrative. With strong themes of identity, patience, and endurance, I believe that Beyond Center Line is a true reflection of my writing and the reality of Threa and it’s surrounding entities.
Hopefully, my future readers will find their own meaning in the two-part Center Line series and come to identify and understand the story as a whole.