What changed in the author’s cut of SERVANT?

Because a number of folks have emailed or posted asking this question, I figured I should address it in a post.

This edit of SERVANT was signficant, but it involved mostly line edits, copy edits, resequencing, and one important adjustment and addition.

Line edits are things that make individual sentences or paragraphs read more clearly. I made line edits to almost every page. I think most readers won’t notice these. But then that’s the point.

Copy edits catch small things like typos and misspellings. There were a number of maddening copy issues that were introduced into the manuscript in the publisher’s version and others that weren’t flagged. I fixed a number of these and then had two copy editors read over the manuscript to find more. No book is perfect. I’m sure there are still some gremlins lurking in the text. But we caught a lot of the little buggers. 

Resequencing is moving chapters or sections around and does affect the experience. The biggest resequence was switching the first eight chapters back to the original order I intended. This is an important change and will have a large effect on the reader for the first quarter of the book. Then there were three other smaller sections inside the story that needed to be moved around to make the chronology clearer and improve the suspense.

The line, copy, and resequencing edits make up the bulk of the edits. But I did adjust and add a short section to the ending immediately after the climax to clarify a few things that should have been revealed in the first version and that lead into book two.

What does this all mean?

It means that while this is a superior version of the tale, the base story remains the same. I care about the stories of Sugar, Talen, Argoth, Hunger, and the dilemmas they face. So I did not change their tales. However, I did significantly change the experience of those tales for the reader.

If you have already read SERVANT, you know everything that happens. However, you will want to get a hold of a copy of the new version to review the updated ending for the new information it includes.  To avoid spoilers and confusion, I will not be releasing the ending in a separate document. But if you sign up for my release notification, I’ll let you know when I have my release sale so you can get it cheap. 

One final note. Because I feel this is a superior version of the story, and because I do not want readers to be confused about which version to read, I’m releasing it with a different title and different cover art. It will be called “Servant” and include the series label “The Dark God Book 1.” 

I think readers are going to be very pleased with this version. I know I am. And then we can move on to “Curse,” the next in the series, followed by “Glory.”

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5 Responses to What changed in the author’s cut of SERVANT?

  1. JohnW says:

    I just reread your Calendar section, and it has this line:

    “CURSE (The Dark God book 2) – Late November, 2013 (I’d like to make it Halloween for the fun of it, but we’ll see)”

    Am I correct to assume that Halloween comment no longer applies? There is almost a one-month gap between Halloween and “Late November”.

  2. JohnW says:

    Also, your CURSE edit manuscript progress bar is only at 2%.

  3. John Brown says:

    Yes, Halloween no longer applies. Thanks for the catch. And the CURSE edit is indeed at 2%.

  4. JohnW says:

    CURSE is now at 15% I see progress! (I’ve been waiting a long, long time for that book…)

    By the way, at one time (a long time ago) you posted that CURSE was done, but then you were told you needed to shorten it and I guess you worked on that.

    Which version are you working on now that you are self-publishing? Is it closer to the first, longer version (I hope)?

  5. John Brown says:

    John,

    So glad to hear you’re chomping at the bit 🙂

    The edit is at 22% now.

    Three versions of CURSE were written. The first two were 230k and 245k words long. This version is currently 185k long and will probably end up being closer to 190-195k. For reference, SERVANT is 184k. Normal novels are anywhere from 80k-120k. So it’s still a BIG book.

    The neat thing now is that after book 3, if I want, we can still explore more in this world.