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. ūüė¶ I’ll get back to it come spring.

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.

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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