This blog has suffered just like everything else writing wise over the last couple of weeks while I've been desperately trying to finish a reread of the first three Benjamin Forrest books before the boxed set (and subsequently Book 4) come out.
The good news is that I've finished.
More or less. There's always something else that could be tweaked, but I'm happy enough for now. Chances are I'll go through it again at some point in the future, but for now I'll let it go back out. I've nearly finished all the updates, just need to do the paperbacks for books 2 and 3 and its ready.
Some fans might be wondering what exactly got changed. Well, not that much. Mostly typos, a few things that got missed by the proofreaders (for example, in Bay of Paper Dragons, Benjamin starts out rooming at the Paper Dragon Bay Guesthouse with Cuttlefur and Fat Adam, only for a few pages later Fat Adam to become Snout.). Other things I did was cut off a few plot threads that went nowhere. I tend to write pretty organically and leave things in that feel like a good idea at the time, only not to close them off later. One, for example, was that when they meet Tania the ferrymaster in Lost City, Benjamin catches a glimpse of orange in her eyes and thinks she might be a ghoul. I never got around to following that up later in the book, so out it went. Another thing which did partially get left in, was when David rips up the fabric of the world and throws a robot into the reanimate river. He puts a message in the back, and I'd always planned to have Benjamin find it later. However, due to the end of the book, that wasn't possible, but I liked the concept and decided to keep it in for development in a later book. However, so as not to leave the viewer hanging, I changed the scene slightly to allow Benjamin a brief look at the message. Therefore, enough closure is provided for the reader, but the possibility is still open for it to be developed later. You know, because there might have been something written on the back ... ho hum.
Another reason why the read-through was extremely useful was that I had forgotten what happened at the end of Lost City, and found out that the beginning of Curse of the Miscreants lacked consistency. For example, early on, Miranda is identified by a label inside her gym shoes. However, in Lost City, she lost her school uniform late on, and presumably her shoes. That will get fixed before book 4 goes out.
In addition, there were lots of little concepts which I'd forgotten about which I've now made notes of. It's always put me in a really good frame of mind to start book 5, which I've begun planning. Looking forward to starting soon.
Some readers might wonder about the ethics of changing a book in this way. Well, most writers do it, and the ones that don't probably would if they could. At one point, for example, Tube Riders: Underground was 6000 words longer, roughly 30 pages. I just went back in and cut out a bunch of unnecessary fluff. Some writers do complete overhauls, and I think if it makes it a better book, then all well and good. In any case, you can always do the get-off-my-land method and just say my book, my way!
In any case, I hope you like the new directors cut! Don't forget, the new boxed set is out on December 4th. Book 4, The Curse of the Miscreants, will follow sometime around Christmas.