Rather than releasing more than one version of Out in the Garage, I have done some editing to the version that is out now. I have cut out a couple of scenes as well as a few small parts that are extraneous. These cuts, I believe, will make it a touch more ambiguous and will give the narration a more realistic touch, since there were about three or four instances where the narration was a bit too advanced for someone who is supposed to be a teenager--although, there wasn't really any more than that.
While the criticism was definitely exaggerated, I believe it has pushed me to be a stronger writer and to know when make minimal changes that will hopefully help me gain a wider readership without changing the scope of the novel and the ideas I was intending to express through it. I firmly believe ambiguity will work to my advantage as people read and determine the meaning. While it is certainly not perfect, it is as perfect as it is going to get, and I am proud of it, and my putting it out there, regardless of how others feel about me or my writing. While I am sure not everyone will like it (as no book is universally liked by everyone), hopefully these changes will make it more accessible to more people.
To be cautious and to make sure that I didn't create any errors when I made the changes, I am getting a proof of it before I put it back out there in print and before I change the e-book version. This is the last time I am changing it. After these changes are finalized and it is all released, it is how it is going to stay, take it or leave it. I firmly believe in the story, and I think that I have a lot to offer as a writer, and I want to continue learning and growing and moving forward, and these changes represent to me the best possible way of moving forward and continuing to feel good about the work that I have put out there.
In other news, I have some ideas for short stories (which I am saving for my short story class) and I have decided on my next next novel, which is one that I already actually started, based off of a movie script that I wrote, in Chicago. Since I already have it all planned out, more or less, it shouldn't take me long, once I have time to sit down and work on it, to get a draft out. It is a third person narration that primarily told through two different perspectives. It is different in a lot of ways from Out in the Garage, which is exciting for me.
It is tentatively called Consequences, and I already have about 3,000 words written (in addition to a 30-page movie script as a sort of outline, in addition to further brainstorming I have done over the years, here and there). I decided upon it as I was brainstorming the other night and came up with some great ideas for it.