I am currently entertaining myself by revising my very first published novel, MELTING ICE.
MELTING ICE did really well for me when it was first published in 1989 by Mills & Boon. But I now have the copyright back from the publishers, so my first baby is all mine to re-write, update, tinker around with as I wish before sending it out into the world again as an electronically re-mastered edition. Yippee!
But.. aaargh, the clothes! Let me give some examples. In Chapter One, Victoria is practising walking on her hands, wearing denim cut-offs and a baggy green T-shirt. And then Julius, the hero, arrives as she is in mid-hand-stand. OK, think about it. Walking on hands, baggy T-shirt…how is that going to work? I quickly dress her in a tight camisole T-shirt, to preserve her modesty. Now, at least she is not revealing all from the waist up as she looks through her hands and sees Julius for the very first time, wearing a smart dark grey suit and…grey shoes? Grey? What was I thinking? Quick, change those to black. Phew, that’s better.
Although, I now wonder if the baggy T-shirt scene isn’t worth keeping, after all. Yes, she could be bra-less, have thought no-one would possibly find her in the sheltered clearing in the woods by the river. Inadvertently flashing her naked boobs at the hero in the first scene isn’t a bad idea, would tie in very neatly with what happens later on that weekend… hmmm. And so it goes on. She gets changed for dinner later, comes downstairs in a truly hideous ivory-and rust-striped loose silk blouse and full skirt with cream high heeled shoes. O.M.G. The blouse probably even has Dynasty style shoulder-pads, although I didn’t mention them. Trinny and Susannah, where are you? With a few deft strokes of the keyboard Victoria is looking much foxier in skinny jeans, sleeveless black silk top and black leather ballet flats.
Having seen the sartorial light, in the nick of time, she arrives in the sitting room for pre-dinner drinks, to find Julius has changed out of his grey suit into…a grey checked shirt and white jeans. Whaaat?? Julius may have many complex personality traits, but he is definitely not allowed to wear white jeans. No way. Right, then. The fashion police march him smartly back up to his room , and he re-appears in worn-looking Levis, white T-shirt and a scuffed black leather jacket. That’s better, a macho, sexy, brooding, Daniel Craig crossed with James Dean kind of look. Phwooar!
I’m only half way through Chapter One, but already I’ve choreographed four essential costume changes, and introduced a fresh note of tension and embarrassment into my heroine’s first meeting with the hero. Oh, who knew re-writing could be this much fun!
OK, back to work. I promise I’ll keep you posted from time to time, as I carry on re-tailoring.
And I’ll tell you about the weirdly recurring twins theme in my next post…