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What’s up with TDS?

by Kellyn Roth |
May 8, 2017

The short answer to the title question is, “Important stuff.” However, I was never one for simplicity. (Actually, I am, but that’s beside the point.) The point is (wait, aren’t statements in parenthesis technically barred from the main text?) that I need a subject for a spotlight, and you need to know what’s going on with TDS.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. Sort of.


A lot of questions have been asked of me (I think that makes sense) about TDS. Mostly by my brothers. Such as, “What? Didn’t you finish that? Now you only have one book published. That’s so lame.” (They don’t understand the process of publishing very well; they think that if I can do it, I should do it sixteen or seventeen times a year.) (Also, their last two ‘questions’ were statements. Brothers, right?)

And, to a certain extent, I agree with them. It’s pretty stupid to publish a book and then remove it a year later to revise and edit it once again. Which is what I’m doing with TDS (or The Dressmaker’s Secret). Just in case you didn’t know.
However, it needed to be done.
First, because TDS is getting a brand-new cover. (I think you’ll like it; it’s coming out on the 20th of May, so hang around!) I felt like giving it a new cover and not making some changes on the interior while I had a chance would be a mistake. Therefore, revisions.
Second, because I am a better writer than this. Glancing over my copy of TDS, I realized that, with a few simple changes, I could make it into a much better novel.

But what kind of changes are you making, Kell? you ask.

Mostly I’m just doing your average editing stuff. Changing word order, removing a typo here, a grammar mistake there, changing dialogue to make it sound more English (somewhat unsuccessfully, but that, again, is beside the point), etc.
However, I’ve also decided to add in scenes where summary formerly were, to change the ending pretty drastically (I can’t say how because SPOILERS!), and to make some tweaks based on reviews and other feedback I’ve gotten about the plot and characters.
So … revisions. Lots of ’em.
However, this is coming remarkably easily. I don’t know if I said this before (I probably have; I use my blog as a whining room), but TDS is my baby. I love working with my baby.
Now, the technical definition of a spotlight is ‘weekly excerpts and commentary and just random stuff about my current writing.’ Well, I’ve done some random stuff and sorta a commentary, so … excerpt.
This is a scene I just wrote yesterday (which still needs heavy editing, but whatever). I hope you like it!

Alice dashed into her bedroom early one afternoon a few weeks later, Miss Chattoway following her. Though Ivy was still bedridden, she had been making ground rapidly, and there was no reason to believe that she couldn’t be on her feet within a few days.
“Hello, Alice,” Ivy said, smiling. “You were gone all morning, and I missed you! But I had my doll and Kitty, until she ran away.”
Alice walked to her sister’s bedside. “How are you feeling?”
“Oh, much better. Mummy says I can go for a walk in the park soon. She says I need fresh air. Isn’t that so, Mummy?”
“It is so. The doctor recommended fresh air and sunshine as the quickest cure. And we’ll get it for you, even if we have to drive out of London for it.”
Miss Christina walked in. “The mail just came. Something for you, Claire.”
Miss Chattoway accepted the enveloped and glanced at the postal inscription. “Pearlbelle Park?”
Miss Christina nodded eagerly. “It’s the Knight’s estate in Kent.”
“I know what it is.”
“Oh. I thought it might be from Miss Elton. You were close in school ….”
Miss Chattoway laughed. “She amused me, and I awed her. But that was when we were children. None of my schoolfellows have contacted me since ….”
“All the same, it appears Lois Elton has now,” Miss Christina prompted. “Well … read it.”
Miss Chattoway broke the seal and unfolded the sheet of paper. She glanced to the bottom. “You’re right. It is from Lois.”
“What does it say?” Miss Christina asked eagerly.
“Give me a moment,” Miss Chattoway murmured. Then “Oh!” she exclaimed.
“What is it?”
“Christy, please.”
“Please, Molly? I’m dying to know!”
Miss Chattoway looked up from the letter, eyes glistening with tears. “She heard of Ivy’s illness – and her slow recovery – from the Knights. They just arrived at the estate a week ago, it appears. She’s invited us to Pearlbelle Park – with Mr. Knight’s permission – so Ivy can … can rest and recuperate.”
“Oh, Molly! It’s an answer to a prayer!”
Miss Chattoway threw back her head and laughed, really laughed. “It is, Christy. We’re … we’re to come out with Mr. Parker in a few weeks if we’re able. I … I can’t. I have to stay here, in London, and Charlie will stay with me … but you will take my girls, Christy? You and Nettie?”
“Of course I will,” said Miss Christina.

It’s a little rough, yes, but it’s better than the summaries of these events that I had before.

Au revoir, mi ami!

~Kellyn Roth~

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What do you think about what I’ve done with TDS? Are all these revisions and changes a mistake or do you applaud me for fixing stuff? What did you think about the excerpt?

I’ve decided to move to two posts a week. What days do you think I should do those posts on? I’m considering Wednesday/Saturday, Monday/Thursday, or Tuesday/Friday.

What do you think of my thoughts?

35 Responses

  1. SO GLAD you posted this, because I was freaking out. Literally, I was thinking: “But I haven’t read TDS and now she is changing it and why and what if I am missing out and oh dear and holy butterfly, batman, this is QUITE the run-on sentence!”
    You are AN AMAZING WRITER (which I’ve said before, but bear with me- creativity is hard sometimes, you know?) and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ TDS!

    1. Yeah, I wanted to clarify because even the people I know in real life don’t seem to understand what I’m doing! 😀
      Aw … thank you! I hope you’ll get to read it when it comes out. Maybe you’ll win a copy as prize or something … wouldn’t that be neat? I know I’m having a giveaway when it launches. 🙂

  2. Yay for revisions! Ignore your brothers, good for you for editing your book and cover. There’s nothing better than a good ol update if you ask me. 😉

    1. Yes, I’m the same! I get sick of ‘old’ stuff after a while. I don’t think I’ll be updating it again after this, but it’s really nice to go back and make it fresh and new! And I’m very good at ignoring my brothers (unfortunately, poor guys!). 😉

  3. I think it is a good that you are revising and changing the novel.
    I think whatever posting schedule works the best for you is what you should do.

    1. Yes, it’s been quite nice. I love going over TDS again and just … freshening it up. Looking at the characters in different ways, playing with the plot, adding new themes … just fun. Which is weird because editing is usually so stressful for me! God be praised, right? 😀

  4. Wow, that technical definition, though… 😛 I haven’t done a spotlight in ages, heh. heh. Remember those days when it was supposed to be weekly? Oh well.
    And I totally get what you’re doing with TDS! And if you think you need to improve it, then you should, but don’t be too perfectionist. 😉
    Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about the new cover because I loved the old ones, but I’m sure it’ll be lovely. 🙂 I’m excited for the new edition… you know what I want? I just want a boxed set of the Chronicles of Alice and Ivy. That’s going to take a few more years, but…I just want them to be all pretty on my shelf and fabulous.
    Alllll right, moving on. I don’t care on posting schedules because…I dunno, all the days just kind of blend together. 😛 Just kidding, but I really don’t ever notice when bloggers post or if they even have a schedule. Probably partly why my blog never has its own schedule, haha.
    Oh yes, and I loved the excerpt! I…actually don’t remember how that happened in the original, but I like it this way. 😉
    How is IvIn going?

    1. Maybe you should also make it monthly … Idk. They were fun, though! I miss them. You always did ’em best … 🙂
      I’m trying not to let my OCD take over … but it’s hard! OCD says, “KEEP EDITING!” and the rest of me is like, “STOP IT’S GOOD ‘NUFF!” We need a balance …
      I liked the old ones, too, but my cover designer is unfortunately not around. :/ And the new ones are great, too. 🙂
      Hehe, right … boxed set … *has no idea how to do that* *grabs a cardboard box and scribbles series title on it* *shoves books into it* There ya go! 😉
      Yeah, I’ll probably just choose random days in the end …

      1. Hehe, I need to start doing them again…I’ve written at least three drafts of the next one, but none of them seemed right. But maybe I should do one on the short story I’m working on right now because I’m loving it.
        Balanceeeee, Kell. 😛 Hehe, that’s true. I’m excited to see them!
        That’s a good idea, hehe. 😛

          1. Wow, so casual, Kell. Hehe, it’s turning into more of a long short story, but I’m thinking about writing that Spotlight right now. Maybe. ‘Cause, you know, maybe the fourth time is the charm. 😛

  5. Oh my goodness, I stopped checking your blog for just a few days and then when I did come here… three new posts (well, new to my eyes, anyway).
    Thanks for sharing this excerpt with us! One thing that confused me was that it seems that Christina called Miss Chattoway Claire once, and Molly another two times. Now I understand that I don’t have the full context and hence I may be misunderstanding your excerpt. But I hope it’s worth the mention.
    Good on you for making corrections.
    Also, I place my vote for Wednesday/Saturday, with no good reason. 🙂

    1. Serves me right for writing too much. 😉
      I really need to fix the whole Claire/Molly thing. It’s been on my list forever, but I just haven’t got to it. Basically, Molly is Claire’s nickname (her full name is Claire Marie and her brother mispronounced ‘Marie’ as a child) and I … never got around to editing that out or figuring out how to work it in so it makes sense.
      I’ve actually almost decided on Wednesday/Saturday, so … good vote! 😛

      1. That backstory explains everything. And I’m sure that when readers read that excerpt within the context of the book, it really won’t be a problem… well as long as you explain in the book what you just explained to me. 😉

  6. What do you think about what I’ve done with TDS?: That sounds cool! If you think it should be changed (plus cover changes!!!) and fixed, do it! Make it wonderfully better!
    Are all these revisions and changes a mistake or do you applaud me for fixing stuff?: I applaud you, dear. It makes your work better, and that’s what counts!
    What did you think about the excerpt?: It was wonderful! You’re such a great writer (with a great vocabulary), Kell. Not to mention THIRD! PERSON! *heart eyes*
    And I think you should post Tuesday/Friday or Wednesday/Saturday. Because those are the days I have time to comment on posts. XD Also: EEK YOU’RE ALMOST AT 300 FOLLOWERS!!!

    1. (I think I’m more excited about the cover changes than anything else, to be honest. And getting to fool around with formatting for paperback a little more. That’s fun. 🙂 )
      I’m doing my best, although sometimes it looks like it will never be the amazing book I imagine it as. But, then, I can’t expect 100% perfection, I suppose.
      Thank you! And … third person is a cause to celebrate? *remembers that only you read historical fiction which is always, always, ALWAYS in third person* *like, almost exclusively* *like, have they no other person to write in!?* Seriously, though, thanks. My cousin actually made fun of me when I was eight or nine or so for having a sign on my door including the word ‘vicinity’. XD I was like, “It’s not THAT big of a word …”
      I’ve almost decided on Wednesday/Saturday because those are the days when I’ll probably have the best chance of having a post prepared or being able to write it. And yes, I just saw that! I’m so excited! I was planning on going for 300 during my blog tour … looks like I might actually reach it before then! 😀

  7. I’m SO glad you led me to this post! I was like, ‘everyone is talking about it and reading it; what about me??!’ XD I’m so excited to read your book. And I loved the excerpt!

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