Sunday, July 7, 2013

What do you do?

I have been editing a MG manuscript. In this manuscript's lifetime it has had approximately three different titles.

The original manuscript was written in late 2007, very early in my writing career. I usually write picture books and this was the first MG I had ever written. I now joke that the first time I wrote it, it was more like a large outline - only 9,600 words. But this was a lot of words for a picture book writer!

By July 2008 the word count had climbed up to 14,600 words.

In May 2011 it was at 17,400 words.

In March 2012 it was at 20,328 words.

Now, July 2013, it has climbed to 23,000 words.

I made the mistake of sending it out to publishers when it was at 9600 and 14,600 word stage. Live and learn. It was not ready.

I hear people say that your first manuscripts are only practice and usually not suitable for publication. They say forget about them and start writing other manuscripts.

I disagree with this. I say you should edit, edit and edit until your manuscript is ready for publication.

I like my stories. I am persistent and keep improving them in hopes that some day they will  be  published.  

What do you do? Do you forget about your early manuscripts or do you like them enough to keep changing them until they are publishable?

Posted by Janet Smart  on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.



  1. Well now. I am the rewrite and edit type and this last week I have also decided to mash up a few of them. It is weird I know but I am interested to see what happens. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. Me, too, Deb. I like to see what happens. I just made another change since I posted this - I changed the ages of the two main characters.

  2. Janet, that's a great question. I wrote my first novel (a MG) between 2007 and 2011 and then put it aside and wrote a second novel (also MG). The second novel is what I've been querying. But I'm still fond of that first novel and recently started revising it.

    1. Good luck with your revising. I'm going to start querying this one after I'm done revising.

  3. I do both. My very first novel developed from a short story I couldn't let go of. The novel never sold, but I have pulled bits and pieces of it for use in other projects. So for me, it's a good place for spare parts.

    Right now, I'm working on the fourth novel I wrote. I'm tearing it apart and putting it back together in a new way.

    1. Sounds like fun, Carol. I like the part about using them for spare parts. :o)


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