Today, I have Regina Rudd Merrick, author of Carolina Dream, and upcoming new release, Carolina Mercy on the blog for Wisdom Wednesday!
Name: Regina Rudd Merrick
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Latest Novel: Carolina Dream
Upcoming Release: Carolina Mercy
I am a writer, not an editor. While I try to be careful and edit as much as possible, there are things that I am not going to catch. There are even things that editors aren’t going to catch. So, if there are those irritating things that NEITHER the author or the editor might catch, what’s a writer to do?
READ IT OUT LOUD. Seriously. That’s my favorite writing tip. Yes, you feel silly when there are people around, reading to yourself. Yes, it takes longer than reading it silently.
But that’s the whole point. Reading aloud makes you slow down and look at every letter, every word, every punctuation mark, every paragraph, and every scene.
In my first book, Carolina Dream, I had worked on that puppy for over eight years. You’d think there would be no kinks left TO work out, wouldn’t you? Alas, if only that were true.
Carolina Dream had gone through my edits, my editor’s edits, the publisher’s edits, and then my edits again, when I remembered a tip I had heard somewhere – maybe from my publisher, Kathy Cretsinger? – READ IT ALOUD.
So I did.
I got to chapter three, happily reading aloud a story so familiar, I thought, that I could almost read it with my eyes closed. I started the chapter, and WHAM! I’ve read that before! I mean, RECENTLY!
I looked back, and sure enough, I had inadvertently COPIED and pasted, when I meant to CUT and paste an entire scene. The first scene in the BOOK, no less.
Wow. I literally had to change the entire first scene of the book at that point. And I learned a valuable lesson. Read it aloud at EVERY POINT.
- Before you turn it in to your publisher, who sends it to your editor
- Before you send it to the next editor
- Before you send it back to the publisher
- After you get the proof file.
That last one? That’s when I discovered my glaring error.
Don’t be me. Don’t neglect reading you manuscript aloud. In addition to catching mistakes, you get to know your story more thoroughly. I discovered that, even on the umpteenth read-through, I still liked my story!
I had a similar experience with my book, The Seer. I read it out loud before and after each phase, and found a few things on the last read through. I think I have my story memorized by now. 😉
Favorite Writing Tip for New Writers:
My favorite piece of advice is this: You can’t edit what you haven’t written. So, so true. You can spend so much time agonizing over outlines, plots, character maps, etc., that you neglect the most important part of writing – THE STORY!
Happy, happy writing and editing, and thanks for having me, Erin!
I couldn’t agree more. I spent a very long time doing this. There comes a point when you to decide to write it and get it finished, no matter what.
Sarah Crawford wants more from life than to attend the wedding of her ex-fiancee. An unexpected inheritance in South Carolina comes at the perfect time, just as Sarah is willing to use any excuse to get out of town.
When she meets potential business partner Jared Benton and discovers that a house is part of the inheritance, she is sure that God has been preparing her for this time through a recurring dream. But will a dream about an antebellum mansion, many rooms to be explored, and a man with dark brown eyes give her the confidence to take a leap of faith, leaving friends, family, and her job behind?
Regina Rudd Merrick has written all her life. From the scribbling of a young child writing “I love you” notes to her mother, to the teenager who tried to write a more satisfying sequel to Gone with the Wind, she developed a distinct love of “happily ever after.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is the former director of a small public library in Marion, KY.
She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online. In fact, it was after writing Christian-themed stories based on a television show that ended too soon that she decided to pursue original fiction. With encouragement from some writing friends, she attended her first ACFW conference and met like-minded writers that were as concerned with building others up as with their own careers.
Regina is now an active member of the Ken-Ten Writing Group which has participants from Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee, and is currently helping to plan their second writing conference scheduled for June of 2018. She is an instrumentalist and vocalist in the music program of her church, and has participated in many areas of ministry over the years.
Married for 30+ years, Regina and her husband, Todd, have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts. They live in Marion, in Western Kentucky, in a county where there are, literally, more deer than people. Her hobbies include watching other people work on houses on HGTV, decorating, antiquing (otherwise known as “picking”), cooking, reading, playing music, and dreaming of the beaches of South Carolina. Her first novel, Carolina Dream, book one of the “Southern Breeze” series, was released in April of 2017 with Mantle Rock Publishing, and book two, Carolina Mercy, will release in the summer of 2018.
Thank you for joining us today, Regina!
Please take a moment and connect with Regina on social media and check out her novel and upcoming release!
Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/