Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love Your Manuscript

Guest post by Meg Miller.

Do you have dire mood swings about your manuscripts? I am here to help you LOVE. YOUR. MANUSCRIPT!

First, a favorite song of mine, to get your blood pumping - Bob Marley's Could You Be Loved. Excuse me while I shake a tailfeather.

Now, let's turn this song around on your manuscript.

Could this manuscript be loved?
Let's check. Does it have:
1.      Unique concept or a fresh take/twist on an old story?
by Adam Fagen.3.      A story arc, with growing tension?
4.      Does the main character change or grow?

“Don't let them fool ya!”
Have you:
1.      Studied the craft of writing? There are many great books, groups and online classes out there (see my list of children's literature resources!)
2.      Sent your story to your critique group and/or paid for a professional critique?
3.      Read your story aloud? And/or had someone else read it aloud?
4.      Let your story sit for a while to percolate? This helps you distance yourself from your story and lets you look at it with fresh eyes.

“We've got a mind of our own, So go to [heck] if what you're thinking is not right!”
In the end, you alone must write this story. So:
1.      Read all the feedback you get and try different techniques for improving your story, but trust your gut and write the story the way only YOU can.
2.      Let your story rest again, even if just for a week.

“Could you be love and be loved?”
Part of loving your manuscript is putting the time and effort into it, so you know that you have written it to the very best of your ability.

1.      Study the craft.
2.      WRITE WRITE WRITE.
3.      Read your story aloud.
4.      Study books of the same genre.
5.      WRITE WRITE WRITE.
6.      Get critiques and revise.
7.      Revise, read it aloud, and revise some more!

These suggestions are not new. I find them cropping up in every craft book I read, every class and workshop I take. Perhaps because they work? :) Happy writing everyone.

 

Meg Miller is a children's book author, artist and ReviMo (Revise More Picture Books) Challenge creator. She has two kiddos, Peep 4 and Speed 2 (nicknames!) who inspire many story ideas and keep her and her husband laughing. http://megsmiller.blogspot.com

15 comments:

  1. Great advice! Thanks for the post.

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  2. Thanks, Meg! Your advice is SO important. It can be a long process - but the end product can be SO worth your time and perseverance. Thanks again!

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  3. A great checklist for many different types of manuscripts! Thanks Meg.

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  4. Thanks everyone! Glad it was helpful! ;)

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  5. Thanks everyone! Glad it was helpful! ;)

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  6. Thanks everyone! Glad it was helpful! ;)

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  7. Wow! Meg, Thanks for reminding me to love my manuscript! All the advice is right-on! Sometimes I forget about the growing tension. I'm going to copy your post and print it off. Hm. I'll post it near my pc, so I won't forget again!

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  8. Meg, this is fantastic advice! Thanks so much for sharing it (I am so impressed, I am sharing this with KIDLIT411 group too!)

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  9. Wonderful advice Meg. Thanks!

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  10. Meg, you're THE ONE! I loved reading. This is gold, pal. xoxo

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  11. Even in the back of our mind we may know this, Meg, we need to be reminded over and over to bring it the the forefront of our world building minds :D Thanks bunches!!

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  12. Thanks all! So glad it was helpful!!! :D

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