I’ve been thinking about how I’ve grown as a writer since I wrote Warlock For Hire. There are things that I did back then that I wouldn’t do now. One thing is the scenes I added about Doris and Gavin. Those scenes were purely for comic value and add absolutely nothing to the story. Readers have enjoyed those scenes and nobody has ever complained about them, but they don’t need to be in the book. I think everything else in that book is quite tight in regards to the plot. They add a bit of flavour to Eddie’s life, I guess, so they’re doing no harm by being in there.
These scenes with Doris and Gavin feature in the first three books, but you can see I’ve learned a lesson as early as the second book, Warlock Wanted. In this book the D and G scenes lead to a conversation that actually helps Eddie figure out what is happening to his friends.
Something else I used to do in my earlier days as a writer was something that the Game of Thrones writers tend to be doing in season 8. Having things happen for shock value. Is a reader, or viewer, I do like to be shocked by something that happens, but that shock has to be earned and it has to make sense. Something should only happen if it serves the story. I don’t think I knew that in my early books. The Eddie Lancaster books are fairly safe, but the Cedarstone Chronicles I think did suffer from unnecessary shocks.
My skills have developed a lot since I started out with my first book, Cursed, and they will continue to develop more. At least I hope they will. When I started writing about Eddie I made sure that my writing was a lot tighter and neater than when I wrote the Cedarstone Chronicles. And now that I’m preparing the Jacob Graves series (more on that later) I want to make sure I carry some of the lessons I learned from Eddie to this new project.