Yep, that’s my first manuscript I’m referring to. I cut my writing chops on The Unexpected Rescuer, a historical romance set in Appalachia and Boston at the turn of the 19th century.
It took me about a year to write and edit this story, until I could claim it as ‘finished’. I submitted it to one publisher and when I received the rejection, I put it away. Something told me that it was a ‘trial’ story and that was as far as it would go.
But there were ideas, plot points, characters in this story that have stuck with me, that I’ve always been drawn to. So a couple of days ago, in between writing projects, I decided to open the novel and edit it.
Wow, was I in for a surprise. Yikes, it was bad. I thought I could crank out 30 or so pages a day of edits and then possibly submit in one to two months.
Now, into day three, I’m no further than page 27. So much for 30 pages a day.
The point-of-view is all over the place. I mean ALL over the place. I took head-hopping to new extremes with this one.
And the blatant, third-class love scenes are so bad, I choked on my guacamole as I reread them. Um, sorry, Mr. Gavin DeVille (the hero), but Miss Catrina MacDouglas (the heroine) simply can not swoon another time, nor bat her heavily-lashed eyes, or faint away from the sheer intensity of your presence.
Oh me, oh my.
I’m happy to say, though, that it’s obvious to me I’ve come a long way. Thank goodness I’m a quick learner. I’m a much faster writer – I wrote my current manuscript, a young adult, in three months. And I managed to maintain a consistent point-of-view.
Even with Wren’s Fantasy, the novel I wrote after The Unexpected Rescuer, I can see leaps and bounds of improvement. I did write from two points-of-view (hero and heroine) but had distinct stopping points before I changed from one to the other. I hope there are many, many other things I did better too. Jeez. Couldn’t get much worse!
So, now, I’m putting this first manuscript back into the proverbial attic and I don’t know if I’ll ever look at it again. I may start the sequel to my young adult novel that’s currently out on submission. I usually like to wait for feedback, but seeing the catastrophe I’ve left in my writing wake, I’m ready to move forward.
So, fare-thee-well, The Unexpected Rescuer. Gavin DeVille will continue to be one of the hottest male characters I’ve ever invented. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to transfer the thoughts in my head into the story, because he simply wasn’t done justice. My mind is, need I say, a very rich place to dwell and there Gavin can stay, and The Unexpected Rescuer can stay in the attic.
So long, old friend.