Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yay! I have officially finished the first draft of my manuscript!

I am so happy to be able to say I am finished! Kind of. In some ways, this is only the beginning of a long and winding road to getting published. But, I'll take my joy when and where I can get it. The first draft of my story is complete. Now the real writing begins. It is often said that the real writing comes in the rewrite, in the revision process. How true that is.

I now have to go through my manuscript with a fine tooth comb, deciding what works and more importantly, what doesn't. Working on my query letter actually changed the focus of my story. For those of you who are not familiar with the query, it's a letter that you formulate that succinctly tells a literary agent what your story is about. The goal is to make your story interesting and enticing enough that an agent will desire to read pages of your manuscript. The hope is the agent will like the story enough to offer the writer representation and try to get the story sold to a publisher.

There is a chapter I really like, but no longer truly fits the trajectory of where the story is now headed. I have to remove that chapter and anything else that slows things down. It's not as easy as it sounds. Writers really fall in love with things they've written and are loath to let them go, but go they must if they no longer fit.

These are the type of things I have to do now along with looking for general mistakes, typos, etc. I'm going to let the story sit for a while to "breathe" and come back to it. I need time away from it, so I can look at it with fresh eyes. You would be surprised at how different it looks and how many things you catch when you give the story and yourself some time apart.

Toodles!

19 comments:

  1. Congrats! That's so exciting! I want to be published but it sounds so scary! I fall in love with the things I write all the time and even deleting a sentence makes me sad lol.

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  2. Wow...all this and teaching/counseling/solving world problems, too...

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  3. Thanks Marie. I save my deleted material in a separate file so I can always go back to it if need be, that way I don't feel as bad. If you want to be published, just go for it. So many people seem to be doing it. I'm amazed at how many people desire publication. You may as well throw your hat in the ring, but it is a lot of work, probably more than people first assume.

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  4. Patty,
    You are too funny. Though I will say, there are not enough hours in the day. So often, I just want to read one of the books I bought for myself and are not related to reviews or anything else, but they're in a pile still waiting to come out of the bag...

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  5. YAY. Congrats on finishing. I've never really finished anything. That's great.

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  6. RYC: Haha I have the same problem, my books are still sitting in their store bags!

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  7. Hey Sarah,
    I insist that you finish your story. I don't want to go it alone. You've got the ultimate blog dedicated to the unpublished writer. It's sacrilegious for you not to finish! :-)

    Marie,
    Thank goodness I'm not the only one. My books-to-be-read were getting a complex!

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  8. My bestest wishes as you swim through rest of the journey. Congrats on reaching this far!

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  9. Congratulations and all the very best.

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  10. Congratulations!!!

    and best of luck with the rewriting. I'm still at draft 1 stage!

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  11. Kavyen and Mystica,
    Thanks so much for the positive encouragment. I really appreciate you girls stopping in to check up on me :-)

    Emily,
    I'm looking forward to you telling me you have written "The End" on your work, but we know that is really only the beggining isn't it?!

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  12. Congratulations and best of luck!

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  13. Thanks for the good vibe and for stopping by Kate. I appreciate it. I really do.

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  14. Congratulations! it's a huge step... I save my "deleted" work in a separate file and i back it up on a flash drive, just in case. I have a couple scenes in my current WIP (which is in its infancy) that I know already need to come out and I can't stand to do it yet. You may just give me the courage. ;)

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  15. LOL...I usually wait as long as possible to take stuff out and stick it in a separate file too, that way, it's never too far away from me and I can go "visit" any time I feel a need to...LOL...You can do it Emily!

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  16. Congratulations! So many people start manuscripts and never finish. You've done it! BTW, Emily had the right idea regarding saving "cut" scenes. I copy-and-paste them into a separate document (a new one for each day, e.g., "Cut ADVERSARY 12jun2010"). Keeping them "alive" this way makes revisions much easier. I feel like I haven't lost the scene.

    I hope you'll sound me out when you're ready for a beta reader. Take care!

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  17. Hi Bear! You're a published author now, so I've got to pay close attention to your words of wisdom. Congrats on your recent launch. I"m on my way to your virtual party right now!

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I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!