As a writer, I admit that some characters and their stories remain with me long after they've been created. Unlike the sweet-easy stories that are solid and content on their own, these other stories take root, blossom, and morph into a life of their own. They refuse to end, to remain quiet, and they make a big stink inside my brain until I do something more with them.
This happened recently.
My first erotic story Adventures In Plastic Wrap was an attempt to write something unlike I had never written, and to express the deeper emotions related to sex that I had always felt forced to suppress. It was fun to write, and began my career as an erotic fiction writer. My story was a success, with over a thousand free downloads in the first six months of publication.
Despite great reviews from other authors and readers alike, I noticed that my story wasn't finished. It wasn't quite right. Oh, and it sucked.
After going on to self publish several other titles and traditionally publish another, I realized that my first story--my baby--was poorly written. The content was there, but the execution was sloppy compared to my newest works. And it wasn't done. I had to write the sequel Cat & Mouse. But when my sequel was finished, I felt that it needed more. I felt inspired to change things up, add more detail, and combine Adventures In Plastic Wrap to Cat & Mouse. What I ended up with was a story I was really proud of. I titled it Cat Games.
I've heard other writers argue that when you finish a story... the story is finished. After you publish, you don't go back and change things. You leave things as they are as a testament to your writing journey or progress.
I think this is bullshit. Why not make each and every story as best as you can? Why not improve your stories if they refuse to leave you alone? You might argue that if a writer has to go back and update their work that their work wasn't done to begin with, but I think this is bullshit too. I think a writer does the best that they can at the time they're working. In my case, my story Adventures In Plastic Wrap was perfect the moment I hit "publish" on Smashwords and Amazon. It was only later, that going back, I felt I could do a whole lot better and that my characters wanted me to. They had so much more to say!
And why not? Why shouldn't my work be my best? My readers deserve it.
So now it is my best. My rewrite and combining of my two stories was a success, and I'm happy to say that Cat Games will be coming soon to a publisher near you.
But you know what? It doesn't end here. My characters won't shut up. My muse is a fickle, pestering bitch. There's a sequel.
Long live my former covers. I wonder what my new one will look like.