Here with the rest of her tips on what she learned by rewriting one of her books is romance author, Ginger Simpson:
Some of the other things I noticed that weakened my book, White Heart, Lakota Spirit included:
*Overdone words. Starting too many sentences with "Oh," and "Well." Honestly, what was I thinking? Was my editor snoozing? In rewriting and eliminating those it has improved the flow of the story immensely.
*Having action and reaction out of sync. Action comes before reaction. Sometimes you have to stop and think about how to word a sentence so you show the reader what happened before you show the character's reaction. You can't have someone jump before the gun fires...well you can if you want, but it isn't correct.
*Internal thoughts. This story was fraught with way too many. I've since learned that most publishers prefer having very few internal thoughts. Publishers would rather the writer use dialogue or simply pose questions for the reader. Instead of writing, This can't be happening. I have the worst luck. I'd now write, Luck wasn't with her. How could this be happening again?
*Telling instead of showing. This is perhaps the most important thing I realized. To write, "She opened the door. It was heavy," is telling. Okay, so that's an amateur example, but wouldn't you rather read, "Clare tugged the massive oak door open."
Or how about this one: "After twenty jumping jacks, her breathing was heavy. She told John she was out of shape." Wouldn't that be better this way, "Clare completed the last of fifty jumping jacks. Sweat dripped into her eyes and her breath came in ragged gasps. She looked at John. "I'm out of shape."
*Starting sentences with "It". I've discovered using a pronoun as the subject often weakens the writing. Readers don't always remember what "it" is. For example: "It bothered him."
Really....what was it? A rash? Tight jockey shorts? A nagging wife?
See what I mean?
*Removing needless phrases at the end of sentences that are inferred. "To him, for her, at him..." The list goes on and on. Honestly, there are so many instances where these phrases add nothing. For instance...If John and Mary are playing tennis, and you've set the scene with them on opposite sides of the net, why would you need to tell the reader she hit the ball "to him." Who else is she going to hit the ball to?
*Eliminating unnecessary instances of the word "that." This has been a hard habit for me to break. I feel THAT it's much better to explain THAT my bad habits may result in a poor presentation, than to admit THAT I just forget sometimes. This is a perfect example, if you read the previous sentence without the capitalized "THATs", the thought remains the same.
I'm sure there are more changes I will be making as I finish a rewrite of this book, but already the story reads so much better with what I have done so far. And those changes will help me as I try to place this with a new publisher.
Which just goes to show that we can always be learning and improving as we continue to write.
Romance author, Ginger Simpson currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and biggest fan, Kelly. She simply smiles when he claims to be the inspiration for the love scenes in her books. Since the publication of her first novel in 2003, she has added eight more books and five published novellas to her list You can view Ginger’s backlist at http://www.gingersimpson.com/ and visit her blog at http://mizging.blogspot.com/.