Writing Better with Age ~ Outside the Margins with Posy Roberts

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Posy Roberts goes Outside the Margins today.

As writers, we grow with each and every book we write. Our craft improves. We find better ways of handling dialogue. We use richer descriptions and hunt down stronger verbs so our stories aren’t filled with the ever-hated adverb. We experiment with writing in different tenses, points of view, and discover ways to create unique narrative voices.

Then on occasion, we go back and read some of our earlier works.

Cue record scratch

I recently went back to an old piece and was mortified I’d let that baby into the world. It was already a rewrite from something I’d written years prior, but I did the stupid thing of changing the story to present tense, and I hated it. The reason I’d made that change was because I needed practice writing in present tense for my novel, Silver Scars.

Silver Scars demanded a present tense narrative because the main character suffered from PTSD and could only live his life minute to minute. Thinking of the past sent him into panic attacks and flashbacks, and since the explosion had shattered his life, his future seemed hopeless. So whenever Gil spoke to me, it was in first person.

Since I’d never written in present tense and Silver Scars was an important novel for me to write, I figured I’d practice with a short story I’d previously written. So I changed was to is and so on. I put it out into the world and forgot about it until January of this year.

When I read it, I was cringing over unnecessary dialogue tags, loads of telling, and characters that were screaming to be fleshed out. It was a good thing for me to read because I was able to see, in stark black and white, just how much my writing has changed over the years.

I’m one of those rare authors (I’ve recently discovered) who thrives on editing. I love it. I get the bones of the story down on my first draft and then I fill it in as I go through various stages of editing. I can easily add six pages a day to a story with editing alone, at least on the first and second edit. When I start taking words away and cutting, cutting, cutting, then I know my manuscript is almost ready for my editor.

I find I can edit and fix a story at times when I can barely string together a sentence. Nora Roberts said, “You can’t edit a blank page,” and she was so right. And when I’m in a creative funk for one reason or another, I can always edit and fix and tweak older stuff.

You can’t edit a blank page. —Nora Roberts

So at the end of February, I’ll be releasing an old story that has been totally revamped. I don’t have a cover yet, so I can’t share that with you yet, but I added 15,000 words, changed it to past tense, where is should’ve always stayed, and took my writing skills of today and improved a bud of a piece I started six years ago.

There are other stories I’d love to rework, but if that’s all I did, I’d never get the next Naked Organics book out, which is what I’m going to be working on today. But it’s nice to know my work will never be done.

P.S. There’s a fantastic new website for lovers of queer romance to search for their next read. Over 100 authors have come together at Queerromance Ink. Each book is tagged with keywords relevant to the romance genre, which is fantastic! Check it out!

P.P.S. Spark will be a Bookbub 99¢ deal on February 21-22, so keep your eye out for that.

~Posy Roberts


Title: Silver Scars
Author: Posy Roberts
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: 06/22/2015
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, Romance

Blurb:

A bomb destroyed high-powered lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside. Moving home with his mom is meant to be a temporary measure, just like proofreading for a medical editorial firm is meant to be a stopgap. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.

Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles away from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than the scars on his skin that is truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.

Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.

Links

Silver Scars on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About Posy Roberts

Posy Roberts writes about romantic male love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is married to a man who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep; her daughter, a budding author and dedicated Whovian, helps her come up with character names. When Posy’s not writing, she enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make normal seem more interesting.


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