first chapter

Moving is over – now back to work and Tamisan

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Now that I’ve gotten moving out of the way, I’ve also worked on fixing a few things on my novel, Tamisan.

You may be wondering why I’m fixing stuff on a novel that I have already released, but I realised that there was some problems that needed to be resolved.

First – and this isn’t really a problem – I have changed my name back to my maiden name, so the cover and interior of the book had to be changed. I had to assign new ISBNs to it (one for print and one for ebook), but that’s okay. I can deal with that. I don’t want to be known by my married name anymore and if – I mean when – I become a famous author, I don’t want to be known worldwide as Susan Carter. That part of my life is over. I’m Susan McKenzie again and that’s that.

It is a pain to change your name on everything, so if I ever get married again, I’m NOT changing my author name!

Second, I got some feedback on my cover and apparently the fact that I had two women on the cover was sending the wrong message. It was supposed to depict the transfer from one body to the other, but it wasn’t clear to anyone who picked up the book.

A lot of people asked me if my novel was about the two women in a relationship. I have no problems with same-sex relationships, in fact, I’m all for it, but that’s not what my novel is about. So, I’ve added the main character’s love interest to the cover and moved Zhenna to the back cover on the paperback version.

Third, I’ve been reading and watching YouTube videos on the craft of writing and one thing stood out to me like a beacon on the darkest night: I had started my book in the wrong place. Anybody who knows what they’re talking about says that you should start with your character in their comfort zone. We get to know them in their normal environment. My novel started with the main character reacting to the inciting incident and I think it probably caused too much confusion.

When they say to start in the middle of something, that’s not what they mean. Don’t start with your inciting incident. Let the reader get a sense of who the character is before you dump them in it.

So, I added a new chapter to the start of the book and then ran through the rest of the story so that I could change anything that described the time before the inciting incident so that it made sense and didn’t repeat what I’d already written in the new part. I think the book is now ten times better (but I might be biased).

Another thing that made me take the drastic step of adding the new chapter: When I had the book up on Smashwords, I was able to see how many people were looking at my book’s sales page, how many were downloading a sample, and how many were buying the book. There were too many people downloading the sample, but not coming back to buy the book. That told me that Chapter 1 wasn’t grabbing their attention the way it should.

I wish Amazon provided that extra info. Maybe one day.

So now I have to see how things go with the new and improved version. In the meantime, I am working on Tamisan Book 2. The working title is Enigma.


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