Monday, September 06, 2010

Preparing to Dissect my Manuscript

image courtesy of glitter-graphics.com
And so it begins. Over the past nine months, I have taken probably seven or eight workshops related to subplots, revisions, plotting, and theme. Everything I've struggled with in the past, I've made it a point to learn it or die trying.

I still haven't learned to write a decent elevator pitch, but I'll face that when I have something ready to send, I guess. For now, I have what I need to prepare my book for major surgery.

My sexy futuristic - which currently has no set title -  has been chronicled scene by scene. I finished the last of this about two hours ago.

It has taken me three days to read through and list all the scenes on colored labels. In case you might have just stumbled on the post and are wondering on the length of the book - it's 89k, roughly 370 pages. Next, I'll be transferring all the info from the labels note cards so I can rearrange them on the floor of my office. In going through the scenes, I noticed I have a huge loop in my book. Toward the middle, the chapters repeat - slightly different from the version before - but are nonetheless the same spiel. The heroine has left the planet four times, and is still there. *_* Then miraculously the loop ends, and the heroine is back where she started. Apparently, she never left the planet after all.

That is the first major fix I have to face. Toward the end, my timeline is broken, the pacing is wrong, and the settings shift far too often to be realistic. Now that I've listed everything in the manuscript, I have to sort through it again to see what's worth keeping, what isn't, and make a list of what's broken and missing. It's like putting together a big jigsaw puzzle made out of broken passages. Not a total nightmare, but pretty damn close.

Anyway, tonight I start carding everything, and taking account of what is inside each scene. I can't stay up too long though. Mini has school tomorrow, and once he's on the bus, I have to take off to Ruston. I have to straighten out my car insurance, which totally sucks. I think I'd rather go to the dentist. For real. At least there they give you a shot for pain. :P

4 comments:

  1. ::gulp:: You are a braver woman than I. Whew.

    I do plan to take my E2E manuscript with me on my trip. I need to finish it and polish it to perfection before I send it along to Deb W. at Sourcebooks.

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  2. Polish, polish, polish, hon. And if you need me to double check anything, send it my way.

    I'm not too worried about chopping up mine. It's all the workshops, I think. It's going to be a pain in the ass, regardless, but I might as well put all that attempted learnin' to good use. :P

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  3. I'm rewriting #2 in a series(futuristic) to be a stand alone, so major reworking of world building/terms, hero's background. Also figured out an actual subplot. After all this I think it may be around 50k, which is long for me! But I'll be free to sub it to different epublishers so its worth it.

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  4. Sounds like you're off to a good start with your futuristic, Melisse. 50k is novel length by RWA standards. I'm always thrilled if I can hit that many words. So many of my stories end too short - not enough conflict.

    I have a lot of rewriting to do with this one, but once everything is arranged and cataloged, I should be able to sit down and "just do it". I hope I'm able to preserve most of the length!

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