Thursday, September 20, 2012

Workshopping a Manuscript

In my last update (which I realize was a long time ago), I made reference to a manuscript I've been working on for the past year. I'm still working on it, ironing out the kinks as it were so I thought I'd impart a little about my experience with developing a manuscript.

Last year, I submitted a manuscript to Fictionista Workshop, hoping for the opportunity to work with a team on polishing it up. I crossed my fingers and waited. In the spring, I received confirmation it had made the cut. I was excited about the prospect. I naively assumed that the manuscript was all ready to roll; that during the twelve week workshop, I'd come out at the end with this polished work, ready to query. Was I ever wrong about that.

After twelve weeks, I'd cut the first 17k, rewrote almost every chapter except for one or two in their entirety, and was only a 1/3 of the way through editing the manuscript. The cutting was a challenge, but it was necessary. Once the superfluous content and backstory was removed, the narrative began to flow much more smoothly. I liked the characters better and I had a more accurate sense of who they were. Cutting all that content, while painful, allowed me to be more objective in the process. What I cut wasn't wasted, it helped me further develop the characters and move the story forward.

Although the workshop had technically ended, I was fortunate that my team and I seemed to gel, and they kindly agreed to stay on and continue to work with me, at a much less rigorous pace. Sometimes it was very slow going, thanks to that pesky obligation called a job, but we all persevered. In May of this year, I finally had a completely edited—and mostly rewritten—manuscript.

Thus began edit round two. The second time through allowed me to weed out crutch phrases—those phrases we lean on when we're trying to get the words on the page and don't want to interrupt the flow. A second edit, through a cleaned up manuscript made repetitive words pop out, and I was able to remove instances in which I felt the need to over stage-direct readers. I followed it up with a third, a fourth, a fifth edit  ... You see where this is going. I'm on my final read through. Six edits should be the magic number. I hope.

For me, the experience has been a positive one. I had the privilege of working with a group of very cool women who wielded the power of "Track Changes" with unparallelled finesse. There is an unfathomable comfort in having a team to work through the difficult parts of editing a manuscript, when characters can be less than cooperative and resistant to change. Or maybe that was just me.

In any case, progress is being made. I look forward to being able to share more with you; eventually in the form of something with a cover.

If you are interested in checking out the latest article I wrote for Fictionista Workshop click on the link below: 

(The irony that I've written an article on this topic is not lost on me after CW&IA).

Thank you for your continued support of my writing.



  1. I can't imagine you cutting ANYTHING. I wish I could be a little mouse on your cutting room floor (or I guess a bug in your computer) - I know there are some juicy wonderful things in there that didn't make it. I know your writing - I think I could pick it out of a crowd.

    ooohhh we should SO DO THAT!!! I would love to get all my favorite authors together and see if I could pick each style out. I know your style to be distinctive. I don't think there has EVER been an author who made me wanna "do" her character more than you. You have the gift of delicious and utter lust! I sincerely hope that your "team" didn't strip that away. Sometimes animal lust is what we are looking for.

    I love you precious! And I am so EXCITED that one day, I will be telling the WORLD about your book. No one will ever be able to SHUT ME UP!!! I hope you feel all the encouragement - ((big hugs)) and **smooches**

  2. I am so excited and proud of you! I always said you would be the only author i would stand in line to meet...Kiss and Hugs!
    P.S. you better come to Chicago...

  3. So very happy to see you are still working hard on your fiction. Your writing is such a JOY to read. I can't wait to buy your first published work!


  4. I'm eagerly anticipating the completed work. It's been a long time since we've been blessed with your gift.

  5. Can't wait to buy your first official novel! I'm sure it will be well worth the wait.

  6. Great article (and CW&IA had plot!!) and I'm looking forward to reading your completed book!

  7. I have said it before and i will say it again, you are among a short list of woman that i would stand in line to meet and get a signed book from...Love you and cant wait to meet you someday. I have high hopes for you lady!!!
    kiss and ((hug))

  8. I am so happy to hear something from you again. I was hoping that you would resurface. Good luck with your manuscript. I hope you will keep us updated about sales. I would love to meet with you and get a signed copy. I still like to read CW & IA. Probably my favority fanfic of all time. Hugs & Kisses

  9. I am so happy you are still writing. I have said it before but CWIA is one of my all time favorite stories and as ssherrill115 said, you are one of the only authors that have made me want to 'Do' the character. lol. I am so happy that hopefully soon we will see you in print. And Hopefully it wont just be a Kindle version. I am old fashioned I guess, I want to hold the book in my hand. I wasn't quite sure if your manuscript is on CWIA or a different story but I hope they didn't change your writing completely with all the edits they made you do. That is the reason we love it so much. And CWIA DID have a plot.
    Love you girl. Hope to meet you some day.
    Carrie Garcia

  10. So happy to hear that you have been working on a story all this time. I thought that we had lost a great writer. I have loved all of your work thus far and I cant wait to read your new masterpiece.
    Keep up the hard slog....I am sure that it will all pay off.

  11. I was cleaning my author list, hoping to see you cupcakes, and rewarded with news of your new adventure. Excellent. Cannot be made available soon enough for me.

  12. Nor should it be ironic since you wrote CW&IA. That was a very erotic story, yes, but the plot was phenomenal. You can only hold people's attention so long with just sex after sex with no substance behind it. The reason stories like CW&IA, EP, MotU were so successful in the fandom was because they were erotic but the plot kept us interested in the characters and the journeys they were on.


©2012 All Rights Reserved | Website Designed by Website Design Credit