Manuscript update

I’ve tried to post an update for over a week but I haven’t had a chance.

If I had good news, maybe I would have found the time.

The truth is, I haven’t made the progress I hoped for. I’m writing and editing like crazy but I’m not really happy with the changes. I’ve had some great ideas but after implementing those ideas I ended up with more plot holes.

I’ve posted four chapters of my manuscript on Critique Circle. After weeding out the useless information, I’ve ended up with some really helpful advice AND the feedback I needed.

Of course, I only figure this out after spending a couple of days licking my wounds and finding my objectivity.  🙂

My point is, without posting chapter five, I already know I need to rewrite the beginning of my story. It seems my hero is creepy, and the first few chapters are somewhat unrealistic and slow. I predicted it may be a little slow and I also predicted that some of it may not be realistic (most romance novels aren’t realistic), but now I know for sure.

So I have something new to focus on. Rewriting the first five chapters—to start. Once this is done, I’ll resurface for air and figure out what to do next.

19 thoughts on “Manuscript update

  1. I’ve been in a manuscript revision loop myself and it can be so frustrating.

    Sometimes when I get stuck, or a part of the story bugs me, I walk away for a day or two. A better idea will usually hit at an inopportune time, but I carry post-it notes and a pen with me just in case.

    Good luck with the rewrites. You’ll get it worked out!

  2. Here is what I know – you will do it, redo it, and do it well! When you put yourself out for critics, you will get good advice and probably bad advice. If it seems right to you, do what you need to do to make it work for you and your concept of the story.
    I’m here for you! Remember KUS!

  3. This was meant to be a reply to jannatwrites. Sorry, I was sleepy when I posted it. 🙂

    Thank you for visiting and commenting. I keep a little digital recorder on me so I can record the ideas as they come.
    I also give myself time in between for distance, which of course makes the entire process slower. 🙂 I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have that much time to write.

  4. Dayner: You are my hero. Seriously! I admire your perseverance and focus and am always amazed that you are able to WRITE in addition to everything else you do. xox

    That said, I just want to offer my encouragement from the admiring sidelines to Just. Keep. Writing.

    Of course, you’ve encouraged me here (once again) to get back to Critique Circle and try to submit chapter one of Tap Dancing.

    I’ve naturally bitten off more than I can chew with various aspects of life and am finding myself stepping back from blog and comments out of deference to actual paying work (which is NOT, lamentably, my fiction right now…)

    I am gonna try to post something short this week about the Tree Guys at my house.

    1. Can’t wait to hear about the tree guys.
      Thank you! But I think DS might be a better hero. I’m really not that admirable. 🙂
      Critique Circle is far from perfect. One person finds my hero creepy, another finds him dreamy, it’s quite funny.
      It helps if you can get regular readers. Regular readers can help with the big picture stuff. When people pop in for one chapter then you can get a bunch of unrelated comments, but even then I usually get something helpful. I was worried about the beginning being slow and now I know for sure.
      Do you think I should worry about putting so much of my content on CC? I’m starting to question myself after that incident DS had with her poem.

  5. I hear you on the constantly changing nature of a group like CC. That’s why I like my small crit group of four members who’ve been together for over a year. I was able to get their feedback on my entire novel.

    The larger group I was in had members come and go and no new member wants to read the six previously submitted chapters of your novel, so how can they give you anything more than a line edit on the seventh?

    It sounds like you know enough to listen to the criticism that resonates with your own, so you will probably only improve your manuscript. And revision IS progress. It’s hard to move on until you feel fairly confident you’ve nailed the beginning.

    Keep up the good work. 🙂

    1. Sometimes getting crits on CC is like beating my head against a wall. Some say, ‘you have way too much detail’, than the very next says, ‘you just don’t have enough detail’.

      And, yes, the beginning is too important to play with. It needs to hook. I’m sure revising the first five chapters will take longer than the entire rest of the novel.

      What do you think about people critique when they don’t read your genre? That was one reason why I wanted to try CC. There is a fairly decent group that read and write romance, and not just cheesy category romance.
      I thought it would be important to get the opinions of people who read it. Although, the best and most helpful crits I’ve received have been from DS and I know she doesn’t read romance.

      1. Except for the stuff like typos and grammar, I always feel I get the best feedback from those who “get” my story. And I think you can get it even when you don’t write it. As for romance, can’t we all relate to that?

        Of course, each genre has its conventions, and those most familiar with the genre can speak best to those.

        I will say that the least helpful beta-read I got was from a man who confessed he would never read a book like mine. Nearly everything he suggested would change my book into something entirely different than what I intended.

        I’m sure you already do this, but keep all your previous versions. You never know when you’ll realize that bits you cut or edited were best after all.

        Good luck with your revisions.

  6. Ahh . . . so it’s not just me? I spent a month reading through that first act and felt just freaking awful about it. This week I made a little progress and the second act feels so much better! I was sitting in the middle of those first few scenes feeling overwhelmed and not sure how to “fix” them, when I need to just tackle the big picture and just accept the fact that I’ll have to completely rewrite them later. And that’s ok. 🙂
    Good luck and keep up all the hard work!!!

    1. Speaking of heros…
      I don’t know how you keep up with your writing with those two little girls. Nap time must be precious to you. 🙂
      I’m tempted to pack a bag and spend a weekend on the coast alone.

  7. Oh Gosh I’m definately not hero worthy status. My life is a mess right now (teenagers!) and it is starting to show in just about everything I do. Especially my writing. If I could have just one wish filled it would be for music to play constantly in my head and drown out everything but my characters.

    I’m proud of you for sticking with DE and doing everything you can to make it the best you can. You just keep on keeping on! You’re a source of strength for me on those days when I just want to throw in the towel and start drinking or something. 🙂

      1. Gosh don’t tempt me! I’m liable to sneak off and head your way while everyone is at work and school. 😉 I could leave a note: Be back in three weeks – drinking, I mean collaborating with CA writer in OK.

  8. Oy, it sounds like I am not the only one. I am in a big, muddy hole right now and I am spinning my wheels. I am going absolutely nowhere with my writing (you know, I’ve blogged about it). I can’t seem to find the motivation or inspiration to get going. Everyone lately seems to comment on how much they did during NaNo, but it’s been difficult since spring started for me to write much of anything at all.

    1. Part of my problem is getting more than a few minutes at a time. I don’t want to piecemeal it together. I want HOURS at a time so I can get ‘in the zone’ and write. I think that’s the only way to get it quality writing on this. If it were a first draft I’d feel differently. Editing is a different animal, it’s needs my full attention.

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