How My Writing Has Changed

Trail to Glory was my first published book. It was/is an historical family saga based on my own family genealogy. When it was published I really didn't know a whole lot about writing or getting published. It was rejected close to 30 times before Leisure books picked it up and published it as mass market paper back. I also knew nothing about promoting. I did send out flyers to announce the book to friends and family and arranged one book signing. And that was it.

I did get a nice advance and one royalty check.

The book faded into obscurity and truthfully, I forgot about it as I continued to write and eventually get other books published.

With all the excitement about Kindle books, since I had my rights back, I decided to publish the book on Kindle. I no longer had a copy on my computer due to many changes of computers and word processing programs. I sent the book off to a company that scans the pages and puts them into Word.

I got busy with other stuff and kind of forgot all about it.

One big thing I decided to do was change the title to Indian Paintbrush--my own title, the publishing company changed the title to Trail to Glory--why I have no idea--something about the title fitting on the cover better, but if didn't really fit the story.

I asked one of my publishers, Oak Tree Press, if she would be interested in it. When she said yes, then I knew I should get busy. Oh, my, what a mess. The formatting was all messed up, something I had to fix. I noticed a number of exclamation points right away and did a search through the document and there were more than two hundred. I changed them all to periods.

I'm working on putting every person's dialogue and/or action in a new paragraph. Something I didn't do back then, but always do now. Makes it so much easier for the reader to follow along.

Every conceivable word for said or asked is used as a dialogue tag-something else I don't do now.  Said and asked sort of fade into the background, while the substitutes jump off the page. I've barely scratched the surface, but I've found actions that can work as dialogue tags for many.

There's a lot of telling rather than showing, but I think there's enough showing to keep a reader interested.

Worst of all is the book is full of typos--amazing since this was a published book. Almost every book has a few typos--but this one is riddled with them. Hope I catch them all. There was no spell-check back in the days I was writing this.

The book was written way back in the 70s  when writing and reading styles were a bit different. At the time I'd been influenced by reading many romances--and it is full of romance.

Because I'm also writing another book for the same publisher, I only work on this in the afternoon and at odd times when I have a few minutes.

I enjoyed writing the book and many told me they loved it when they read it--perhaps new readers will too, when I get it done.

Marilyn

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