NOTEBOOK: Little Known Author is Sorry


Yesterday got kind of out of hand. Chapter 27 is a turning point chapter in the book. It has to cover several points, but I only realised which points these were gradually, over time, and that meant rewrites, adding bits, cutting other bits, and sometimes complete rewriting.

So I can see how this would make for a confusing and frustrating experience, and I am sorry about that. I’m working on finding a new, clearer way to indicate draft versions/numbers, or something so you always know, going in, where you are with the story. But if you have some helpful suggestions, do please let me know. I’m making this up as I go.

Part of the trouble is that sometimes I rewrite the entire thing from a blank page, while other times I just touch up the existing text here and there. Sometimes it just needs a new ending, or enhancements to an existing paragraph. There’s “spackling and patching” and then there’s “major eathworks”. If you you only tweak an existing chapter a little, you’d feel silly calling that a second draft. So would that be a 1.5 draft? 1.2 draft?

I do know that there are some people out there who are reading GOOD INTENTIONS, and for that I am grateful. Thank you, and I am working on ways to make this whole system work better.

3 thoughts on “NOTEBOOK: Little Known Author is Sorry”

  1. Why are you posting each version or draft of the same chapter as a separate post? Is there a reason you want to keep each version available on the website?

    If there isn’t, posting multiple versions does not add any value to the website, is terrible for your search engine optimization (duplicated content is penalized), and (as you have acknowledged) is confusing for your audience. I recommend this instead:

    1. Write your first draft. Save it in the WordPress dashboard using the “DRAFT” button, not the “PUBLISH” button. This adds it to your website’s database but doesn’t make it visible to anyone yet.
    2. Sleep on the draft.
    3. Review the draft. Use the “PREVIEW” button to see how the text will look as if published, which can help with catching errors and rough spots. Edit as necessary.
    4. Save the updates, but maintain the draft status of the post.
    5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 as many times as needed. Each time you revise the post and save it (even as a draft), the revisions will be saved to your database. If you need to go back to one of these earlier versions or just want to compare to it later you can do that in the dashboard.
    6. When you have reached the “Ultimate, Final, No-Kidding-This-Time, Version” of the draft, that is when you can hit the “PUBLISH” button. Only then will the content go live and be delivered to your readers.

    Really, most of us probably don’t need to see what you have drafted until it’s essentially done.

    If you decide later that the “Ultimate, Final, No-Kidding-This-Time, Version” is not actually the final version, just edit that same post. Don’t make a copy of it. You can (A) edit the published date of the post to bump it up on your post feed in order to indicate to everyone that it’s been changed (there are drawbacks to this) or (B) I can help you edit your theme so that the original publication date is preserved but a “Last Modified” date is also displayed so people know the content was changed after you first posted it.

    Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Shai! Lovely to see you! Thank you for taking so much time to give me such detailed feedback on this.

      I seized on the idea of putting everything out there, all the drafts, everything, so you (potential reader) could see the whole sausage-making process. This may not be wise, and certainly it’s not generating loads of hits. So thank you for your idea of using and revising drafts before publishing the final result. That might be less onerous for the readers I do have.

      I really appreciate your time on this! I think it will make a good difference! 🙂

      Btw, it was great reading about you and your mum’s eclipse trip! 😀

      1. You’re welcome. 🙂 My pleasure! I can appreciate the desire to want people to be able to see into the process, but with the frequency of posts that you make, it’s actually quite difficult to keep up with it all. Perhaps you can just blog separately to talk about your process at those times when there are significant things to say about it.

        I also suggest you unpublish the duplicate outdated versions of your chapters—everything except the final versions that you want to keep and may or may not tweak again in the future. This will help clean up your archives and make it easier for visitors to figure out what they should actually be reading.

        Also, did you ever locate the “Read More” button in the dashboard? 🙂

        I hope to put up something about the eclipse trip on my blog soon. Sorting 1200+ photos is a daunting task! Mom wasn’t on this trip though (just Dad and I). I kept in touch with her via text.

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