When you approach your favorite writer, if you ask them, “Hey, in that book you wrote twelve years ago, on page 37, why did ____________________?”
They may not have an answer for you.
They’re not being coy.
They’re not being evasive.
They may not remember.
If you look at the publication date of their book and then shift back a couple of years, that’s probably when they wrote it. Maybe even before that.
Since that time, they’ve written a million other words, some good, some bad. Some are more beloved than others. Some get edited once, and thus have appeared fewer times before the writer’s eyes.
It’s interesting to me to go back and visit the world of The King’s Daughter and The White Queen (the two old novels I’m reading through and serializing on my old website.) I have written other things in this ‘world’ since then, an entire novel set 50 years later, and I’ve outlined several others. This ‘world’ is my writing passion. I love these people with a white hot fire.
Going back, it was interesting to consider what I would actually change to make these two novels fit better with what I’m currently looking at. I was surprised how little would change. No, I wouldn’t be willing to publish these two as is–I need to rework some things. TWQ is actually a first draft, the ending left off. (I’m -sure- I wrote it, but it didn’t make it into this file. I just have to find it.)
But it’s reassuring that my writing wasn’t too bad a decade ago.
And even so, it’s amazing to me how much I’ve forgotten….