Monday, February 20, 2012

Did you ever?

Did you ever get started editing on one of your manuscripts and not be able to stop?

I've been working on my middle grade manuscript, getting it ready for the WVWriter's Conference and I can't seem to stop.

I told my critique group that I wanted to make the first three chapters shine for the judges (I'm  working on the rest of it , too).

I left the meeting wondering if I could do what they suggested. I'm always afraid I'll make it worse than it was to start with.

But, I think I'm getting it.
They said that a little too many things happened in the first chapter, maybe move something somewhere else.

Check!  A small flashback that was a little confusing is now in a later chapter and in the present, not as a flashback.

The beginning needed to be more sharp and to the point.
Check !

Maybe add more descriptions to the characters.
Check! When I introduce a character, I add a little about them so the reader will get to know them better.

Kids are fascinated with caves, add some more cave descriptions.

I've been worried all along about the length of the manuscript. It was a little short for a MG, though there are some short MG books that are published and very good.

I love " Because of Winn-Dixie" and I have the book here at the house. I noticed that is didn't seem to be very long, so I checked out the word length on the Renaissance Learning site. I was right, it is only 22,123 words.

But then it clicked. The main character of that story is only 10 years old. The main characters of my story are 12 yrs old, almost 13. I thought about it for a while and decided the characters in my story could be younger with very few changes to the manuscript. So that is what I did. I changed their ages.

I had fought against making changes for a long time, because this was my baby. But realized that changes had to be made if I was going to push it out out of its comfy nest to fend for itself.

Sometimes change is good.

Now, I just have to remember to get up from the chair every now and then to stretch my legs!

Oh, did I forget to mention, I received another rejection this week.


  1. I have been so wrapped up in editing my novel for the last few days, that I have not done much else.

  2. We don't see the flaws in our baby right at first. We have to live with them awhile and sometimes it takes a few pairs of eyes to see what we do not see.
    It will come as you work on it.
    We just keep getting better Janet in spite of ourselves.
    We gain wisdom the more we work on our creations.
    Hope I can make it to the conf this year. I've missed too many already.
    So happy you are hard at work on your entries.
    I have to decide what I'm entering and get cracking. The deadline will be here before we know it!!!
    Good luck on yours. Barb

  3. Hi Janet,
    Good luck with your manuscript. I bet you'll get it just right.

    I had no idea that Because of Winn-Dixie is so short. It's one of my favorites.

    And don't let those rejections get you down. We all get them, but the way I look at it is when I get one it means I've been submitting.


  4. Good for you, Janet. You're learning some important lessons.


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