So, this week, we're talking about our first manuscripts - the mistakes, how we've changed as writers since writing them...
The first book I wrote was The Boy Next Door. I'll be honest, it's been a LONG time since I'd even looked at that book. I was a bit nervous to get into it, knowing I'd see things that I would do differently now. I'm definitely a different writer than I was back then.
When I reread it, I was pleasantly surprised. I knew I still loved the story itself. It's friends to lovers, which is one of my all-times fave tropes in romance. I ADORE IT. I still enjoyed the hero and heroine - Mac and Darcy. They were fun characters to write and fun to revisit.
The things I'd change?
Dialogue - It didn't feel as natural to me as in more current books. I'd definitely do that differently. I'm fairly picky about dialogue and try to make it sound as natural as possible. I'm always reading stuff aloud, seeing how it sounds, and I didn't do that back then.
Point-of-view shifts - While I didn't head hop (going in and out of characters' POVs willy nilly) exactly, I did go back and forth way too often in the sex scenes. It didn't read smoothly to me now.
The sex scenes - They were all right, but it was the first time I'd written explicit sex. Remember, that was a time in my life that if you'd have told me I'd be writing BDSM, MM or menage, I'd have laughed and said no way. I enjoyed reading those things but didn't think I had it in me to write them myself. Imagine my surprise...
...I've written all those things and continue to...so that is definitely an area of growth for me since then. And I'm soooo happy about that. 🙂 So yeah, I think the sex scenes could be...more in The Boy Next Door. LOL
Flat characters - Not the main characters, but some of the secondary characters could have been fleshed out, more well-rounded. Particularly Darcy's mother. I cringed when I read scenes with her, because very flat, one-note character, and I could certainly do better.
Those are the big things. The Boy Next Door would be a different book if I wrote it today, for sure. Though, for where I was, at the time, it's pretty solid, I think.