It’s interesting to see how I've changed and grown as a writer in the last few years. It’s always amazing for me to see how each work improves. Since being published it’s been a huge increase in proficiency, since my amazing publishers have been great about being honest and forthright and helping me see my mistakes the way I never could on my own. Each work I can feel myself growing.
With this revision, it’s been disconcerting how much I've changed. The revisions have gone rather smoothly, considering how horrible edits used to be for me. I used to cringe and slam my head against a wall when it was time to do revisions (and I might be right back there with the next release, cross fingers I won't be). This revision there were no huge sections to rewrite, no horribly crafted passages that made you question why you'd ever started to type to begin with (yeah, I've had some dozes in the past). In fact there were times I was revising, I actually forgot I was revising, I was enjoying Will and Amy's story so much.
Now there are a few reasons why this one is going so much better than others in the past. Part of it is due to the fact I've been in this world so long. Foolish Desire will be the fourth Naughty Holiday List installment, and as a result I know the stories and characters very well. I've been setting up these story lines in all the other books (if you go back and read some of the others you'll see hints of what's to come, but its subtle enough not to give too much away). Since I've known where I was going for almost two years, I'm much better at staying on track than I used to be.
I've also started using character charts, which have really helped me get the character right the first time. No more writing half the book before I decide who they are and what their conflict is, and as a result no more going back to rewrite sections with a different back story or character trait. Amy is the same she's always been, shy, awkward and just a touch repressed. Just enough to make it so much fun for Will to push her boundaries.
But I really think the majority is due to growing as an author. Now I can see the pitfalls before I fall in them. I can anticipate the problems before I even hit them, and I can even wade my way through them faster (since I've done it before) I still have issues and problems come up while writing and revising, and I think I'll continue to. When I stop having anything more to learn, I'll probably stop writing, or we'll evolve past it. But I'm definitely improving, which I hope means I'm writing faster and it will be even sooner you'll get to read another one of my books.
Until then, here's the last snippet I revised on Foolish Desire, Will and Amy are enjoying a late meal after play rehearsal, but Will's got a little more up his sleeve than garlic bread.
Will leaned towards Amy, taking advantage of her excited state to shift his arm a fraction closer on the table. Her heat radiated his side, offering him a glimpse of how amazing her body would feel pressed up against his. Her soft flowery smell encircled him, his mouth watered to taste her.
“I bet they can’t wait to see their teacher at work. Those sets you made are
breathtaking.” He leaned closer, slipping his hand under the table to graze her knee. Not lingering, but certainly remaining long enough to draw her attention, if the way her soft mouth fell open and her eyes gazed up at him in question were any indication. “And those costumes,” he whispered low, close to her ear, even though no else sat near enough to hear him. “They’re worth the price of the ticket alone. They certainly get my heart pumping.”