Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

‘Prelude’ is complete, and well on its way to its next incarnation.

I’ve already taken the individual episodes out of the ‘topics’ section over there on the right but I’m going to leave it up on its page ‘Prelude’ up there in the Header for a couple more days and then sometime on … hmm … Thursday (26th) I’ll remove it from there too. So if you haven’t caught up with the entire story, now is your moment.

I’m going to do a bit of an edit, typos, etc, then I will publish it as a complete entity all of its own. 


As I read through my old notes whilst preparing each episode of ‘Prelude’, I came across quite a few scenes that had appeared, fully-formed, in Mortal Instinct. I chuckled to myself. There I was thinking I’d pulled all that imagery out of the aethers by myself!

For those new to my corner of the interwebz, Mortal Instinct was my firstborn that suffered from ‘Premature Publication Syndrome’, by a traditional publishing house, that, to make a very long and painful story short, screwed the entire publication process from beginning to end.

Lesson learned. Not going to use a trad publisher again.

My initial plan was to do a complete rewrite of the whole manuscript and self publish, but, as I was editing and publishing each episode of ‘Prelude’ I came to the slow realization that Mortal Instinct’s time had passed.

I suppose this is the logical extreme of ‘kill your darlings’ which advises authors not to hold on to characters, or scenes, which fall short of Vernor’s Law.

What’s Vernors Law, I hear you ask? A SF writer lad by the name of Vernor Vinge coined a wee missive that goes like this …

All scenes need to accomplish at least 2 of 3 things: 1 – provide background information, 2 – develop the characters, and 3 – advance the plot

My faithful old manuscript that had been with me, in various incarnations since 1985, is now no more.

Bon Voyage, old Friend.

Perhaps in another Realm, another version of me will publish it as it’s meant to be. Wouldn’t that be wild!


31 comments on “Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

  1. Suzanne says:

    I like the way you sum up your experience with your book. The publishing too soon phemona is familiar to me. I did that with my book although that was self published. People still say it needs a sequel so maybe I will go through the rewrite phase like you. Maybe though the best course of action is moving on like you are now. It is strangely liberating when we finally let go of creative projects that almost work. It’s hard to do though.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Congratulations on finishing what you wanted to do – and best with the publishing. It is an accomplishment when they go out into the world. Hope it does really well for you.

    My early efforts – way back in the previous century – got nice notes of rejection, but exist only in a printed version (unless my children or some online place can read the documents on floppies), but I always meant to go back – and thoroughly rewrite them. Don’t know if I’ll still want to do that when I finish the current trilogy, but it could happen. It’s not bad – it’s just not up to my standards now. It would have probably been okay published, with someone having a hand in the editing, but if I do it now, it will be me reorganizing to the last degree.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Widdershins says:

      It’s tough deciding what’s to remain in the past and what’s to be dragged into the future. 🙂


      • Which makes it worth a bit of effort to see if you can rescue it. Your writing gets better, and your characters and basic plot are already there.

        I will definitely invest some time in seeing if it’s worth updating. It’s a mystery in a science setting in the middle of the Cold War, with Russians – I’ll just have to see if the background can be heightened just a bit to give me a nice historical mystery (yes, it’s been long enough to turn into a historical).

        Liked by 2 people

  3. You never know. Moral Instinct may evolve into another novel yet to show itself to you. I still hold on to my one and only unfinished novel from the early 1990s, thinking I’ll revamp it. Maybe it’s time for me to say good-bye, too. and move on. Have fun with the editing process.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jay says:

    Wow, loving the fierce attitude!
    Books are like babies, it’s hard to let them go, but you have to know when to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenanita01 says:

    Onwards and upwards, Ladies. There are no limits to our imagination or our ability to create new from the ashes of the old… I believe there is a phoenix inside all of us…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. May the current version do well

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, sometimes those old stories simply need to fade way, at least for a while. Never say never, right? I had a similar experience with a trad publisher. Maybe not quite as bad, but bad enough to make me very wary of going that way again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Olga Godim says:

    It is a painful realization, when you outgrow one of your stories, but it leads you in the right direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahhh such a good point about letting characters/stories rest when you have written them. It’s so hard not to hold on to those older pieces–to let a story actually be “finished” is something I am struggling with consistently! Good on you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Outstanding! So glad you’re going to publish it. Can’t wait to get my copy! Best of luck with the self pub experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. colonialist says:

    Just my luck coming into a Prelude at the Finale!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. acflory says:

    Congratulations on Preludes, and commiserations on Mortal Instincts. My first never saw the light of day, but in hindsight I realise that the world I created for it has been reincarnated in later works. Vernor Vinge was a wise man, not to mention a brilliant writer. A Fire Upon the Deep is still one of my favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

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