It's not official yet, but I believe that I'll have a print contract for The Voices of Ire, my debut fantasy novel written four years ago. It was an ebook for awhile, but the company went out of business before it went to print, and so I left it on the back burner and started new projects. I've finished two other books and a number of short stories since then and my writing has morphed so much that I can hardly tell I wrote some of those passages at all!
Now I had to rewrite the whole thing!! Not from scratch, but enough to make it the same quality as the other projects I have out there. It took approx. twenty hours, a lot of coffee, and sour apple candies! I thought I'd share with you how my writing has changed, and then you can share with me your own stories of when you looked back!
#1. Passive voice was everywhere!
Here's a direct quote from the old Aubrie, "The ground had become uneven, and Fiona had to use her walking stick to remain steady, jumping over crevices and sliding across slates of granite."
And here's the new rewritten sentence, "The ground became uneven, and Fiona used her walking stick to steady herself, jumping over crevices and sliding across slates of granite."
I can't believe I used so much "was,were,had". Horrible, just horrible. My editor from Lyrical Press would be all over that. (Hi Stef!)
#2. Point of View changed all the time.
Epic fantasy novels are typically written through a lot of points of view, but my pov's changed right in the middle of a passage all the time. I had to go through entire scenes and choose whose point of view to keep and whose to keep quiet! I lost a lot of good sentences in there in the rewrites, but it's just not possible to allow everyone to think out loud all the time. If I really wanted to keep something, I had to have them say it.
#3. I loved loved loved adverbs! Why, I don't know? But I had so many interestingly's and suddenly's that I had to take a machete to the screen and chop chop chop away. I understand now why adverbs don't read as well. Why I didn't see it then? I'm not sure.
Now, all of you out there that had the courage to go travel back to the dark ages of your own writing, what have you found? What did you used to do? What has improved?