I remember reading once about an author who would sit down with books of his that had been published, pen in hand, and go through them. Making changes, adjusting, cleaning things up. Editing a book that was already released. I don’t know if the story is true–though I have no trouble believing that some author out there is doing something like that–but it made me think. I don’t often look back on stories of mine that are in print. Part of this is practicality. I can’t change them, so why bother? But another part is dread. No matter how much I like the story, I’ll invariably find some part of it that I don’t like, something that I think I should have done better. Why torture myself with that?
But why not? Revisiting work is a way to learn, to see what mistakes I’ve made so that I can avoid them. And the thing is, there is a practical reason to revisit things– I’m terrible about trying to sell reprints because of my avoidance of my old stuff. So maybe I should look back a little more.
This bit of navel-lint examination is brought to you, by the way, by me spending the weekend doing copy edits for my Streets of Shadow story. Which is good, and I like it…
But it’s not perfect.