This is the new 5.0 version of book 1, Inception. Remember how it had an insane word count? Remember how it had annoying scenes? Remember those pesky erotic scenes? Well, those are gone. GONE!
At one time, book 1 had over 171,000 words. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I was able to cut that shit down to 82,000 words! We’re in the zone! YEAAS! I’m in the target range of where a first book needs to be. Contemporary Fantasy & Paranormal Romance needs to be under 100,000 words.
“But, Jen! A book takes as long as it needs to be!” Not when you’re rambling about shit for pages. And not when you need to hire a professional editor. That costs money. Money as a self-publisher, I no longer have. Why? Because I tried to buy a house and the deal went horribly wrong. It forced me to look for a place in one week. All my editing and book cover expenses went towards an unexpected move. I wasn’t happy about it either. $20,000 of our money from savings… GONE! So, I had to find an outside job to recover our savings. Throw in my unexpected medical bills, and you get where my financial situation is at this time. We are just now coming back from being in debt, but Christmas is around the corner. I don’t see any signs of saving until January. Which by then, I have to repay loans that aren’t in good condition at this time. And pay old hospital bills. Spending $8,000 for professional editing just isn’t in the budget at this time. It will be, but not now. My goal is to pay off our past debt first. It’s taking a lot of time, but the end goal is worth it. I’m about $6,000 in debt right now. It’s better than being in $20,000 in debt. That’s where we used to be at. As soon as that’s paid off in February, I’ll go ahead and start looking for an editor.
In that time, I plan to work on the next few books in the series. Get those books down to a nice word count that I can afford. I want an editor I can work with and that knows what the hell they’re doing. I’m so damn picky when it comes to editors. I’ve been cheated in the past. Just no! When I’m ready, I’ll let you know.
All erotic scenes are now fade-to-black scenes. That dropped my word count dramatically. I had to change book 1 in order for another character to have relevance for being in the series. In other words, I was stuck on book 7. I need to fix this and that! Nope! I changed book 1 in order to accommodate the other books in the series that will make sense.
On another note, I made sure to cut out the first five chapters. It was too “telling” and not enough “showing.” It leads straight into the action. That dropped 10,000 words right there. I was able to do this because I suffer from mental illnesses. Bipolar I is one of my many demons. I’m back on medication. They put me on Depakote, a mood stabilizer. Seroquel, for an anti-psychotic. For the first time in ages, I’m able to think straight. I thought that these medications would shut me down creatively, but they don’t. I still have five lanes of highways running through my head instead of a million. I can still hear my characters without feeling restricted. When I edited this last time, my first book makes more sense this time. I was able to fix it without crying or getting upset. I took care of business. I had to change the story a little bit, but I love how it flows now.
I am an author who needs to be medicated. My brain can’t function like “normal” brains. It’s too chaotic and it’s like you’re standing outside with a million people talking to you at once. That’s what it feels like to have Bipolar. You want to go here and there, but all you’re doing is going in circles. “Oh, Bipolar is a trend! Everyone has it!” No, sweetie… I really do have Bipolar. When someone gives you antidepressants, and someone watches you bleach the walls and blinds for three days straight, there’s something wrong. The anti-depressants would help with the depression but not with the mania. I was extremely suicidal while taking those anti-depressants in 2014. I begged the doctor to pull me off of it. He refused. I fired him and found a doctor who would listen to me. I was seeing shit that wasn’t here. I was talking to Elvis and God at this point. What did I take? Citalopram. You can’t give someone with Bipolar, anti-depressants. Not without a mood stabilizer or other medications. I was seeing large black blobs and white figures. I wasn’t well. This is the first time I’ve felt great. I can hold down a job, and I’m feeling so much better.
All I can say is that I’m sorry. It’s taking me a while. I had to get better mentally and physically before I could continue to write. Now that I’m better, everything is making sense and clicking back into place. I’m on this medication as long as my blood work says it’s okay to continue to take my medication. My blood work looks great. I am battling anemia. That is nothing new. I also have psoriatic arthritis. I can see the sun and enjoy it for the first time in years. I’m happy.
What are my next goals?
Let’s finish this series! It’s been a long time coming. I’ll work on my series during my days off. I would do it on my work days, but unfortunately, my new medication knocks me out cold. I wake up in just enough time to make it to work. I am a night shift supervisor for a retail company. It’s quiet at night. I work from 12 am to 8 am from Tuesday morning until Saturday morning. A normal 40 hr work week. It makes me feel better to work with the public. And it helps me work on social anxiety. I have to be medicated. I’m chill. Absolutely chill now. I’m on the second chapter of book 2. Not a lot will change with this book. A few scenes, but it will also start making a lick of sense. Book 3 will need a complete overhaul. Book 4 will be ready to go as soon as I finish 3. By then, I should complete my entire series, hopefully by early next year. I know what to look out for. Then, I can start hiring a professional editor and a better design team.
The hardest thing I’ve learned is to let go of pride. If you need help, get it. I wish I would have done this much sooner.