Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Look Back at the Past by Terri Weldon

Terri Weldon
Every writer I know has at least one manuscript buried deep in the closet, including me. I hope you'll take a moment over the next few days to tug it out, dust it off and skim through the pages with fresh eyes. Like Terri, you might be surprised to realize how much you've grown as a writer. Enjoy "A Look Back at the Past" by Terri Weldon~Dora

About a month ago, I dusted off the first book I ever wrote. The storyline is one I’ve always loved and is dear to my heart. So I pulled the manuscript out of the bottom drawer it’s called home for more years then I like to admit and started reading. Let me tell you, times have changed. I discovered the book is out of date – way out of date.

When I penned that manuscript, which shall remain nameless, I didn’t know squat about the craft of writing. I read voraciously and decided I wanted to write a book. I had a fun idea. So, I sat down and typed that puppy. Words flowed fast. I still remember the number of pages I could whip out in a day. No plotting, just the sheer joy of writing.

Until I revisited that book in June, I’d forgotten how bad it was! Point of view (POV)? I didn’t have a clue. I changed POV numerous times on a single page – hero, his friend, heroine, and her friend. Hmm, could that be one of the reasons I received a swift rejection on that manuscript?

The heroine is sassy and fun and she intends to accomplish her goal, no matter what. The hero has been burned by love in the past and there is no way he’s going down that road again. I still love the story, but can it be saved? I don’t know.

Looking at that book made me think of Philippians 3:13 (TLB) – No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

As a writer I can revamp my manuscript, clean up the imperfections, and give it a new life. As a Christian, I have a heavenly Father who is willing to take me in my imperfect state and through the blood of Jesus wipe the past clean and give me eternal life. I can forget all about my past mistakes and focus on the future. Such an amazing blessing – the greatest blessing of all!

So how about you – have you grown as a writer since you wrote your first book? Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve revisited your first manuscript. Or if you’re one of those phenomenal writers who sold their first book just the way they penned it? You can be honest, I’ll still like you. LOL!


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Purchase Link
Misty Winslow is determined to find her prince, and she meets the man of her dreams through an Internet dating service. Or is he, because the new dentist in town also sets her heart aflutter.

It's love at first sight for Tyler Davenport, but before he can finish his first root canal, Misty is involved in an exclusive online romance with Wes99—Tyler’s online persona. How can he tell her he’s the man she’s been waiting to meet, and how rational is it for him to be jealous of Wes99! Soon Tyler's pulling out all the stops to woo Misty.

As Christmas approaches, Wes99 and Tyler both ask her to meet them under the mistletoe. Which man will she choose?


Terri is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and playing in the hand bell choir. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction.

She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has three dogs – a lovable mutt and two adorable Westies.

Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing. To learn more about Terri visit her website at www.TerriWeldon.com.

30 comments:

  1. I'm afraid to go back and look. :) Maybe one day.

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    1. Smart woman! I naively looked and was shocked.

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  2. Yeah, I've looked at it. So thankful that God can make all things new -- including old manuscripts. LOL!

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  3. Hi Terri, you have me laughing...especially at the multiple POVs on a page. Freshman error, I think it happens to us all. I found that attending RWA chapter sessions helped get me on the right writing track...therefore, when I look back at an ancient medieval I started once upon a BAD time, before RWA, I can see how much I've grown and learned. That said, the first book I wrote after joining RWA did get published right away but it is SO terrible. Thankfully I've got the rights back and someday I might be able to fix it up. Sheesh. I don't know if it's worth making new, though LOL. I always seem to find something new to keep me busy. I so enjoyed this post. Good luck with your major reconstruction. I loved your message today, so potent on many different levels. xo

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    1. Thanks, Tanya. And who knows, I may start looking only to decide it needs to be bulldozed and something entirely new be allowed to take its place.

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  4. Terri, I've been thinking of doing just this! It's not actually my very first manuscript but was the first I submitted (that got rejected, of course). I'd still like to try to re-work that story! It's on an old Zip drive, though. Must find someone who can rescue it. :)

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    1. Missy, I remember those old Zip drives! I actually had a printed copy of this of I would have been out of luck.

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  5. I've toyed with the idea if revising my first manuscript and turning it into a novella, but I think it might be faster to start from scratch. :)

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    1. Oh, Julie, I understand that sentiment. Maybe just keep the premise for the story and ditch what is already written. Believe me, mine is so bad that may be what I have to do!

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  6. I've looked at my first manuscript (although it's been years ago) and it was bad, just like you said! No POV issues, but on-the-nose dialogue, no clear goals for the H/h, and just... boring. I don't think there is enough conflict in it to make a good book without serious rewrites! Great post.

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    1. Please don't make me confess that I have all those issues on top of the POV problems! LOL

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  7. Great kick in the pants. I wish I had gone back to do a heavy rewrite on my first book published last year. My second book, tucked away in a safe file in my dropbox, allows me time to peruse every so often.

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    1. Judy - I bet you dive right in and decide to rewrite it one of these days.

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  8. Hi Terri! I really enjoyed your post! The very first thing I tried to write years and years ago was so over the top dramatic it's laughable - but I wrote it fast, after work, and had so much fun! Didn't know all the rules even existed and didn't care! It was a joy - until i got the rejection letter!

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    1. Loves To Read - isn't writing fun when you don't have to worry about rules? Sometimes I miss the sheer joy of writing just for fun. I hope you'll decide to try your hand at another book.

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    2. Thanks Terri! Someday I may get brave enough to try it again.

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  9. Boy! I didn't have a clue about a lot of things when I first started writing. I have 3 manuscripts tucked away that I'll revisit "someday." I'll probably have more than a few chuckles when I read my "first." I do hope to rework the third at some point ... I think it still has a lot of potential.

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    1. Dawn - go for it! Pull that third manuscript out and whip it into shape.

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  10. Terri, what great insight you have. Loved the scripture connection--and I completely understand what you're talking about. After my first few books were published, I went back to the very first manuscript that never sold. Ha! Immediately, I knew why. It is truly amazing how we can believe a piece of writing is fabulous and later, after we've learned a little about the craft, we are stunned at how bad it is! Anyway, that's what happened to me. Isn't growth a wonderful thing?

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    1. First off, I can't imagine a Linda Goodnight book that isn't phenomenal. But growth is a fabulous thing. I like to think I've learned a thing if two, but I've got a long way to go.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the scripture connection.

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  11. Terri, I did the same thing this spring. I took out my first book with the intention of editing it until it was publishable. And then I read it and realized the truth--there's no saving it. I could possibly rewrite it, someday. But it's too far gone to be edited into submission. So to speak. Isn't it nice to know we're growing as writers?

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    1. Robin - thanks for stopping by. I may be in the same boat. I'm already seeing major flaws. Thankfully we do grow better at our craft, but I still have a long way to go.

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  12. It's been ages since I pulled mine from the deep dark hole in my closet, but it's always an eye-opener, isn't it? Thanks, Terri, for the wonderful reminder that we're not chained to our pasts!! Your post reminds me of that Big Daddy Weave song, "Redeemed," which I absolutely adore!

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    1. I'm so thankful we are free from the past. God is so good!

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  13. Terri is experiencing technical difficulties responding to comments. She'll be back with us shortly...hopefully. :)

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  14. Ha! I think most writers can relate to this!! I have a wonderful story with so many bad writing errors, that it would never be published. Maybe one day with a major re-write...

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  15. Sue - I bet you've got a great idea. I hope you have time to rewrite it some day.

    Mine was so bad it was almost fun to read, almost!

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  16. My first effort at a novel was a STAR TREK story more than 25 years ago. It lives in the closet behind the Christmas decorations, and there it will remain for the sake of humanity, the universe, and Trekkers everywhere. Writing rules...I scoff at the notion. (SMILE)

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    1. Ah, but Sharon, you write such good books. I couldn't put your last book, Pam, down!

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