Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Now fix it up

Finally I am back to finish off my brief series on writing a manuscript.

Last time I talked about putting the manuscript down and leaving it a while. Now it is time to pick it up again and read it from start to finish the first time. You will do this many times over the next year or two but this is the most important read in my opinion. This first pass will tell you if the story line makes sense, it will tell you if the book tells your readers want you want it to. I always find it a good idea to read this first edit reading with the point of the entire story in the back of your mind so that you can see if there are any inconsistencies to your premise.

Most times I change almost every line of this first pass through and I often loose as many as five thousand words. They were words I could afford to lose of course.

Listen to the feedback that others give you on your story as well. Make sure the time lines are right, listen to their questions and what confused them and please take note of anything they say does not fit. If it is wasted then it does not matter how good the piece of writing is, if it doesn't help the story or play some part then get rid of it. If you have to then cut it out and paste it in a folder that contains all the great pieces of writing that you want to use later.

Once you think you have it roughly where you want it call this the second draft and break it down a little bit. Join a writing group and ask for feedback on the first chapter. You might be surprised at how helpful other writers are and how on the mark some of their feedback is. They have all been through the process of having their manuscripts turned down (or most have).

Once you have the first chapter perfect take a look at the second. Give it to the writing group and don't be afraid of their criticisms. Welome them eagerly and once you have reached the end of the third chapter send it off to a publisher or an agent.

The rpocess has started and there may be lots of frustration, heartache and hard work ahead, but their is the chance of getting your book published and nothing in thios world quitte feels the same as that.



Anonymous said...


Excellent post, have just got back from a sabbatical of sorts and back to visiting my friends and favorites. The "wheels" are great too, wind in face, eyes on the horizon...


Bernard J Rossi said...

Thanks A. J. and I must say it is great to have you back. I have been away also, which has meant less posts than I would like but over the next few days I hope to rectify that.

I hope your sabbatical went well.

Take care


Jan Cline said...

Thanks for the great advise. Just what I needed right now. I will print out your post and read it over again so it will sink in. Working on my first fiction project. Thanks too for helping me with my entry on The New Author. I look forward to hearing from you.

Bernard J Rossi said...

My pleasure Jan, I hope more of my posts in the future will help in the future. Good luck with the fiction project and I'll be in touch next week.


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