So: I’m reading a series of three books I got from Amazon. The writing’s not great, but not awful. Lots of misspellings, and some of them extend across the first two books, which means the author didn’t know any better. Sigh.
The books were also too ‘busy’. The books lacked focus, for want of a better term. Lots of odd threads that didn’t really further the plot. Lack of discipline on the part of the author, I thought.
And realized the same could be said of MY books. <Unprintable comment here>
The current book, more than 80% written, has far too many extraneous threads. I’ll be going back and snipping them out, and many of them can later be added to book four in this series.
Books are divided into a beginning, a middle, and an end. Analyzing mine, the beginning’s reasonably good, the middle flounders and lacks focus, the end looks good so far, at least what I’ve written.
So how does this happen? To be honest, it sneaked in. I added a new character here and there, and each character needs to be fleshed out if he/she isn’t to be a cardboard target that will fall at the first opportunity. And each character can take the plot off into someplace it doesn’t need to go.
So I’ll be revising, and chopping great swathes of prose in the process. Objective, focus the middle and let the story be told. All that other stuff, save it for the next book.
I can added a teaser thread just before the book ends, something that won’t affect the story line but that can provide a hook for the next book. So it’s not a total waste.
But it’s going to delay release of my current book, perhaps as much as a  month.
You might want to look at your own manuscript, budding authors, especially if you don’t have a hard-nosed editor who’ll keep you tightly focused on telling THIS story. Let those other threads make up the next book in the series.

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