The Blood Red Pencil is pleased to welcome romance author, Ginger Simpson, for a couple of guest blogs. She originally wrote a version of this for her own blog, and we thought it would be helpful for other writers to read what she experienced in doing a rewrite of an older book. So, without any further comment, here is Ginger:
I recently reclaimed the rights to one of my previously published books, White Heart, Lakota Spirit, which I wrote in 2005. During our last camping trip, it was so uncomfortably hot, I stayed in the camper and wanted something to read. I pulled out my copy of Lakota Spirit and read it -- this time as a reader.
Wow. I couldn't believe how differently I would have written the book today, so rather than renew my contract, I asked to have the rights revert back to me. I wanted to redo the story and eliminate such mistakes as:
*Describing a person's voice before they speak. We all know that tags should follow the dialogue, especially when you're writing something like, “Her voice quivered.” Until she speaks, you don’t know how she sounded.
*Using a character's name far too many times, especially when only two people are having the conversation. Example:
"Did you have a nice day, John?"
“Yes, Steve, I did. And you, John?"
Get the picture?
*Over explaining (RUE = Resist the urge to explain). For example, if an author does a good job of setting the scene, there is no need to write, “She widened her eyes in disbelief.” The reader will know why she widened her eyes.
Or this one, "Her heart pounded with fright." If I've shown the scene well enough, hopefully readers will sense the fright for themselves and not have to be told why the character’s heart pounded.
*Using words that didn't exist during the time period in which the story is set. I only found a few instances of improper word usage in my book, but I'm surprised they slipped by without notice. Since then I've become much more proficient in using my Online Etymology Dictionary
I’ve learned a lot more in this valuable exercise of rewriting this book, and I will share some of those next time.
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/.