Monday, July 19, 2010

Wishing Caswell Dead...Again

I wrote a historical novel tentatively titled Wishing Caswell Dead. The last draft (which I once considered the final draft) has been sitting in my office for a long time. I've even pitched it a couple of times, but I've never submitted a synopsis or a partial.

Sometimes it's puzzling why we don't submit our work. Is it just procrastination? Sometimes.

Are we afraid of rejection? Possibly.

Or do we instinctively know the manuscript is not ready? Maybe so.

It has been several months since I've looked at the story. I finally opened the document file this weekend and read the first page. Then I read the first page of the second chapter. And I saw it. I saw what's wrong.

I took a deep breath and when I let it out, it felt like a sigh of relief.

I'm revising Wishing Caswell Dead one more time. And it's going to be a much better book.

Sometimes we finish a manuscript and we're certain it's ready for submission. If there's doubt, however, it won't kill us to let the manuscript rest for weeks, or even months, while we work on other projects. When we come back to that manuscript with renewed interest and enthusiasm, we're likely to see our stories in a new way. We imagine new scenes. Opportunities to add description or dialogue appear before our eyes. We even see typos we didn't spot before.

After we let the manuscript rest, we can read it as though we're critiquing another writer's work. It's like reading our own work with a stranger's eyes.

Of course, my poor critique group is now going to suffer through another rewrite of Wishing Caswell Dead. I hope they don't mind too much.

14 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like the title! If the re-writes are good enough, your critique group probably won't kill you.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

I like the title too! A few weeks break can make a huge difference. Sometimes I think nerves hold me back, but then I see something I can fix. It drives me crazy!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A good title Patricia I wish you well.

Take care.

Yvonne.

Padraic Murray said...

Congrats Patricia on your patience. Books can be like wine - best laid down for a while. I believe it is better to be six months late with a book than six months early. Best of luck whatever!

Karen Walker said...

This is so true, Patricia. And I don't think your critique group will mind so much. I wouldn't.
Karen

Terry Odell said...

Rewriting is fun. I'm trying to decide if I should re-do the mystery I have sitting around.

Pamela said...

Hey Patricia, I am so excited for you...that is great and I'm sure your critique group won't mind.
Blessings, Pamela Cowart

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Hat's off for you figuring out what was bothering you about your manuscript and I'm another one who loves your title. Best of luck!

Peggy Frezon said...

Through every rewrite, our mss always improve. Letting them settle for a while is definitely a good plan. I have a fiction ms I've been setting aside because I just can't decide if it's YA or adult. To me, that indicates something's wrong! Good luck to you!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Thanks for all the great support. Now I need to figure out how to squeeze a few more hours out of each day so I can finish all these projects. I guess I'll be giving up evening television for a while. Oh well...

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the title! Sounds like lots of fun :)

The Yard Bard said...

It's kind of like being on a jury. Reasonable doubt can make all the difference. Good luck!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Resting is not only good for the soul – it’s great for a manuscript! Good luck with your revisions.

Ann Best said...

We do need time and distance from any manuscript, some more than others. Glad you "saw the light." As someone else above said, I'm sure your group won't mind.