So, I rewrote The Album…again. 🙈
It’s so much better, though. Like, it was so bad that after going through it, I’m astounded it has a 4-star rating on Amazon. How was I not being reamed out for all the grammatical errors? Let alone, the horrendous storytelling!
I’ve been saying for a while now that I couldn’t get my head around “show, don’t tell”. Well…I had an entire book’s worth of examples to work with. The most AMAZING person ever helped me work through a Google doc of it. She pushed me to “dig deeper” and help people connect with Ariana.
The thing is, Ariana is the character who is most like me. She acts and behaves a lot like the way I did before I got help with my mental health. So, getting into her headspace meant getting into my old headspace. I won’t lie, it was tough. I cried when writing a lot of it because those emotions are tough emotions to deal with.
The problem with the original version of the book is that none of that came through in my writing. I basically told everyone, Ariana feels anxious and had self-worth issues. I didn’t show the effect it had on her body and mind, and the emotions that she felt in any given scene were missing. It was very much, “They went here. They did this. They looked at that.” It took us out of Ariana’s POV and prevented us from connecting with her as a character.
The rewrite is so much better, in my opinion. More importantly, I finally feel as though it’s as good as The Wedding and The Baby. I didn’t feel like it was truly good enough to be in the series, before, let alone to kick it off. Also, I actually feel comfortable sending it to the narrator to record the audiobook. It’s something I’ve held off on doing for a long time, because I didn’t feel it was right, and once the audiobook is recorded the story can’t be changed.
I really felt like I needed to get it perfected before the audiobook was made. The story was good, but the book was nowhere near as good as it could’ve been (first book and whatnot!).
I also think that’s reflected in the review ratings. Here are the ratings for The Album:
5-star – 32
4-star – 23
3-star – 17
2-star – 5
1-star – 2
Average – 4 stars
For comparison, The Wedding is a much better book, and its reviews comprise of:
5-star – 47
4-star – 24
3-star – 1
2-star – 0
1-star – 0
Average – 4.6 stars
I think that says a lot about it. Sure, four stars is a perfectly acceptable star rating for a book, but I’m hopeful the rewrite will improve it. At the very least, I’m finally happy with it. The problem with getting a 1-star review isn’t getting a 1-star review. The Wedding actually has one on Goodreads and it doesn’t bother me. The problem is getting a 1-star review and agreeing with it. I actually went and commented on one of the 1-star reviews for The Album on Amazon, today.
I’m always happy to acknowledge when someone is right and I’m wrong, which was definitely the case here. The person who helped me with the rewrite also has experience with big arena concert tours, so was able to correct some of the errors in my depiction of that type of tour. That was a relief because even though people had told me they felt it was an accurate depiction, I got a pretty nasty review from someone who said it wasn’t (and I don’t have experience in those massive arena tours). Again, in the person who left the review’s defence…ten minutes between the support act and Cruise Control, Siân?! Really?! 🤦♀️
Anyway. we’re going to review it again in a couple of days, make any final changes, and possibly let Sebastian cause some mischief with his rider. In the meantime, I uploaded the new version to Amazon today because the old version was so bad that none of the minor details we might change at this point were worth waiting to fix what was currently being put out into the world.
All in all, I’ve added 3,000 words to the book, and it now sits at 99,044 words…am I tempted to write another 956 words for the sake of it? Yes. 😝
After we do that last review, I can finally give it to the narrator and NEVER REWRITE THIS BOOK, AGAIN! 🤣