POINT OF VIEW: Rewriting the Past

I’ve been in the process of re-releasing a number of my older works. It’s funny to think I’ve been published long enough to actually have some older works. LOL…

In the process, I’ve had a chance to see how my writing has changed over the years.

Most recently, I updated “The Homecoming,” coming out this Wednesday in eBook and (for the first time) paperback! The story itself held up remarkably well – I even had a few of those “damn, I actually wrote this?” moments, which is always nice for an author. *grin*

But there were a few things I wanted to fix.

For one, the original story had a bit of an unintentional incest plot line – a bit of a distant relationship, but one I was never fully comfortable with. It came about by accident, when two parts of the story suddenly clicked in one of those unexpected-but-welcome writerly ways. But in the new version, I decided it wasn’t necessary and wrote it out of the story.

For another, my writing style itself has evolved. As I went through the story from top to bottom, I realized I had a lot of passive phrases, way too many “he nodded” phrases, and a number of “he said” tags, something I hardly ever use anymore. Over time, I’ve learned instead to use character actions to indicate who the speaker is, which helps set the scene, build my world and move the story along.

I also made a new connection in this version of the story, using a throw-away line about illustrations in the cavern from the old version and fleshing it out into something that ends up making a rather nice new coda to the whole story – a tail for the tale. 😉

It’s exciting to be able to share “Homecoming” with a new group of readers in 2019, and I loved seeing how far I’ve come as a writer in the last five years. It makes me wonder where I’ll be in 2024. Somewhere even better, I hope.

To my writer friends, have you ever revised an older work? And what did you discover about your evolution as a writer?

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