I sent the story out to two trusted beta readers, so I know there will be changes to be made when they return their comments.
The first draft is only the beginning.
I've learned not to share the first draft scenes with my critique group as I'm writing the story because these ladies are so brilliant when brainstorming. They give me too many great ideas and I cannot implement them all when I want to, so I get frustrated. Then I get confused and lose my way in the story. It's better to just scratch it out, straight through to the end before sharing. Don't stop to re-write it. Perhaps you have the same problem as author Laini Taylor.
The one thing I have learned about writing a novel is--it is never done. After the first draft, I set the story aside for a week or more. (I began my manuscript for this story in June 2012 and didn't even look at it again until 2015!) With this novel I have four manuscripts, each one progressively edited not only for line edits, but for fleshing out the story and filling in the holes.
Just as arranging flowers, a floral designer has to fill the vase with the blossoms, perhaps add a little babies breath, step back, add some purple statice. Her eye has to decide if the floral arrangement is complete. A writer too needs to step back and decide when the story is complete. Knowing that important step takes practice, just like it takes practice to develop the eye for floral design.
Ask for Help
After tackling three mysteries, short stories, and non-fiction books, I have learned to ask for help with the writing. It takes a village for a writer to actually get the story idea to a published book.
My "baby" has been sent out to fresh eyes for feedback. Don't you feel like your manuscript is your baby and you want to hold on to it and protect it from any harm? Don't be afraid to share what you have written. The insights you gain from getting feedback is worth having a queasy stomach before you send it off online or share it in your critique group. In fact, reading your story could make someone's day.
The Dreaded Synopsis Creation
I won't touch the manuscript for another week. So now what do I do? I face the most daunting task for a writer, creating a synopsis to send to publishers. How do you condense 55000 words into a two page synopsis? (Be sure to check guidelines for the publisher you have in mind to submit your work. Some like shorter, some prefer longer synopses.)
If you need some advice on writing a synopsis, (and don't we all?) Joanne Broadwell shared her Perfecting the Pitch Synopsis Toolkit on the J.Q. Rose blog on the J.Q. Rose blog. Please click on over to read her tips on creating one for your book.
I'd better get to writing that synopsis. I'm so excited to share this book, Deadly Undertaking, three years in the making. The synopsis will introduce you to the characters (Lauren is the protagonist), setting (a small town and her family's funeral home), and situations (she's dealing with her mother's illness, a murder in the funeral home, a nosy shadow man, and falling in love.)
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Thanks for stopping in today. Please leave a comment on your writing process, rewriting, synopsis creation.
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