Manuscript Monday #2

Manuscript Monday is a series of blog posts which chronicle the life of my manuscript. It follows the journey I take to turn my week old baby story idea into a fully grown, polished novel. Take the journey with me. 🙂

My 2 week old manuscript:

So one morning last week, I woke up thinking about my main character, Atria Plum. What kind of character would she be? What kind of girl should I create? My hazy early morning brain had some ideas about her, but most of my thoughts centered on the opening sentence instead. So I followed that track. Because opening sentences are hard. Really hard. So I’ll take any idea for that anytime.

I grabbed my phone from the night stand and opened up the Notes section. The same section where I’ve kept the name of Atria Plum since the beginning of the summer. I wrote down the opening sentence as fast as my blurry eyes (without contacts) could focus. I wrote the next line too and the line after that. I wondered how much space was available in this part of my i-phone. Only one way to find out. I kept going until I was out of ideas.

I love this opening. If you read last week’s post you know I already wrote an opening paragraph. And so I was faced with two. After reading them both, I decided to combine them into one shiny opening paragraph. And now it’s perfect. (Until I change it again.)

And so that brings me to now. What have I done on this manuscript since then? Well, life tripped me up a little this week. First, my husband was rear-ended while driving home one night. His car was damaged pretty badly but he walked away unharmed. (Phew.) Two days later, a car drove straight into the corner of my car while I was in a parking lot. Um yeah. How could that happen to both of us in one week? There wasn’t much damage to my car and no one was hurt this time either. Neither accident was our fault but that doesn’t matter much. The damage to our cars has been done. And it’s been a pain to deal with… police reports, insurance, the collision shops, etc. So I have been a bit preoccupied this week. My mind hasn’t exactly been focused on my new story.

And that’s my point today. Sometimes real life gets in the way of writing. It just does. But whenever possible it’s important to push through it if you can. If your story is important enough. So earlier today, I forced my butt into my chair and opened up my laptop. I needed to write something of this story. The process of completing this novel is going to take years if I don’t work on it occasionally if not more!

I had planned to do some world building and character building last week. If you read Wednesday’s post you saw that I’m going to use some visual aids like index cards and foam board charts to help me organize my story. I didn’t get to it last week so I’ll shoot for next week instead.

So today I re-read my new blended opening paragraph. It didn’t take long for me to keep going after that. I added about 500 more words of the first chapter. Not much, but not bad considering the curveball that I got with the car accidents. I also added a new character. She’s pretty rough around the edges, but I think I’ll be able to polish her up a bit the next time I sit down to write.

You may be wondering how often I actually do sit down to write. Most week days are the same. I’m fortunate to work from home while my kids are at school. I work about three hours a day on my professional job. That usually happens from 9-12noon. After lunch I’m usually free to work on my own writing. I try to fit in two hours per day. This week I worked on my query letter. I’m in the process of submitting to agents now and that requires me to research and personalize each query letter. I also worked some on my synopsis, the one page summary of the story. Some agents still request this so I need to be ready just in case. I think synopsis’s are evil- harder to write than the whole darn novel, but still necessary.

Anyway, after school, my time is focused on my family- homework, car pooling, snacks, dinner, whatever. The afternoon/ early evening flies by. After dinner, if we don’t have a sporting event or school meeting or whatever, I take that time to write some more if I can. It relaxes me and I look forward to it. I also use this time to read books in the genre that I write. That’s my fun too.

Very early mornings are sometimes reserved for writing also. I try to wake up a few mornings a week at 5:00am. That gives me an hour and a half before the kids get up for quiet writing time. It’s hard though. Even though I’m a morning person, I’m not that early of a morning person!

So that’s where I’m at on week two with my WIP. I’ll keep drafting or world building this week (hopefully) and let you know how I do. What about you? Did you make any progress on your story this week? I bet you made more progress than me! Fill us in. Was it easy, or did you have to force-write like I had to? Whatever the case, I hope you have even more time to work on it this week.

I’ll have a new post here on Wednesday that may help you to classify your story. So please stop back. Until then have a happy day! 🙂

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