This week I started reading through our debut novel The Body Hunters for the first time in nearly a year. Come to think of it, I just realized this is the anniversary of the day we published it, weird. We’ve been working on a script adapted from our book, so I needed to read through it again and make the necessary changes as far as the adaptation was concerned. In a script, you can’t have paragraphs explaining what’s going on, that’s something that has to be discussed between characters or otherwise shown in the film. There’s no need for flowery prose in a script, all that has to be streamlined, leaving the skeleton of the story. Though we’ve gotten good reviews and positive feedback from those who’ve read our first book, some of the mistakes we made as first time authors stuck out to me.
With the script it’s been sort of a Body Hunter 2.0. Now with a fresh pair of experienced author’s eyes, I’ve gone in and changed what never should have been, including one reality television subplot that never really went anywhere. In the screenplay, there’s a better introduction to our hero, Aiden Stone and the villain is even more of a monster, if that is at all possible. And like our latest works, the voices of Von and I assimilate into one and you can’t tell where my writing starts and hers begins. Still, looking behind me, I’m tempted to pull a George Lucas and go back and make changes to the first novel to satisfy that egotistical author in me who’s looking for perfection. But I know I can’t do that. If I’m stuck looking back at the past, how can I concentrate on the future?
Every mistake we make with any project, not just our first is an opportunity to grow and learn as writers. Sure being an artist, you want it to be perfect, so you change this word and that, and you spend hours editing trying to get it just right. But sometimes that search for perfection does more harm than good. You stall and procrastinate, obsessing over the littlest thing, moving paragraphs around until you’ve done nothing but made yourself crazy. That is something our editor, Reggie, told us from the start. She forced us to make a deadline and stick with it, which is a policy we still go by nearly four novels and a year later. We’re only human, so we have to accept that we can’t be perfect all the time.