A Writing Journey

Posts tagged ‘manuscript’

Salvage Operations

I would say that in high school I was a fairly prolific writer of terrible prose. Two and a half manuscripts were completed between my sophomore and senior years – and none of it was worth sharing (though I did share with one of my college friends, including the disclaimer that it was very poorly written and very girly). And so, last week when I had the inexplicable urge to pull out one of the manuscripts and work on it, I didn’t know what to think.

Reading the first few pages, I was speechless. The adverbs were killing me. The characterizations were alright, though overstated. And there was line after line of worthless writing that did not advance the plot or add anything to the story. Not that the story had much to begin with. And this was a “first book” in a series of eight!

I cringe, I wince, and I almost quit then and there. Nothing could be done to save that mess I’d made.

Then I stopped, took a deep breath, and thought again.

Okay, so the story was drawn out and overly-dramatic. Things that I could do to fix it? Cut out the other seven books. Condense several of those plot points into one book. Write notecards with the plot points. Arrange and rearrange those notecards into a workable plot. Rework the characters – give them flaws and contradictions and secrets. Give them new names.

So, this is how I started salvaging a manuscript that I thought would never be worth anything except a lesson in how bad my writing can be. It’s a challenge, but I like challenges.* So wish me luck in my salvage operation! And if you are struggling to salvage a plot, idea, or entire manuscript, I wish you luck!

Take care, fellow travelers.

*This might be part of the reason I haven’t been working on QFS lately – I have the plot all done and the rewrite is just about making it flow better – no real challenge there. 😦 I’ll get back to it come spring.

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Confession Time

As you might have guessed from the title, I have a confession. I never got around to sending out my manuscript. With all the chaos of moving it slipped my mind. After having let the story rest I came back to it and realized I still had a lot of work to do before sending it out. Most of the work is on dialogue and chronology. In addition, I am going through and rewriting to include more “showing” rather than telling, and to develop the world and the characters more fully. This will take some time, and it doesn’t help that my perfectionism is coming out now. So please bear with me as I continue rewriting, and hopefully I will be motivated enough to get this done within a couple of months.

Take care,  fellow travelers.

The Story

First things first: this novel does not yet have a set title. I keep going back and forth between “Quest for Salvation” and “Dragon Spirit.” Each has its merits, each has its downfalls. So I’m sorry that I keep saying things like the story and my manuscript. But I figure I still have time to choose a title, so I am in no rush.

Now, maybe you are thinking since I’m spending so much time talking about the Ibvailyn Empire that is where the story takes place. Alas, it is not (at least not this one). However, it is where my main characters are from, which is why I have spent so much time developing it. The characters need a strong base to propel them out into the World. And, the Empire is my favorite of the places I have created.

What is my story about? Well, it’s about a group of travelers going on a voyage to find an artifact that will save the Empire. I am reluctant to say more because I don’t want to give spoilers (which I have a really bad habit of doing – I always accidentally ruin a plot twist when my mom is reading a book I lent her…). Suffice to say that things go wrong and the main characters get swept up in events that threaten to ruin their chances of finding the object (it would be a pretty dull story otherwise).

When I finish up my editing (four chapters to go!) I will start writing synopses like you see on the back of books and I’ll probably post a few here. In the meantime, I will post some more about the Empire, and even some about other nations/regions of the World.

Take care, fellow travelers!

Done by the End of April

That’s my goal. To be done with my edit of this draft before May 1st.

I have 25 chapters and 7 of them are already edited (well, technically 8 but I combined two of them, so it counts as 1, though I guess I only have 24 chapters now – so that’s helpful!). Anyway, according to the quick math that I may or may not have done correctly, that means I have seventeen chapters to edit/revise. I don’t edit on the weekends (at least not consistently) so if things go according to plan I should be finished by the 25th of April. That will give me two days to spare, if I need them.

Hopefully this time I can keep to my goal. Last month I tried the same thing, but unforeseen events cropped up and took away a lot of my time to work. Now I’ve got all my time scheduled out and a handy to-do list, so I’ve got high hopes!

It’s good to have goals! Is anyone else trying to keep to a deadline (self-imposed or otherwise)?

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Take care, fellow travelers.

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