Manuscript Monday #5

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 5 week- old manuscript:

Happy Monday everyone! What a fun week on the blog. Critique Corner was a huge success! I hope all of you feel the same way. Here are some of my thoughts:

We had a surprise guest visiting the blog this week… and she left her feedback for our writers! It was my friend and long distance critique partner Beth Hautala! You may not know who she is, but I guarantee you will very soon. Her middle grade novel, Waiting for Unicorns (Penguin Books) is making its debut in January! As in… she’s going to be published!! Yayy, Beth! I couldn’t be happier for her and it could not have happened to a sweeter, more talented person. I’ll be showcasing Beth  bethhautalabooks.com  and her book soon on the blog, but until then I want to give her a gigantic thank you!!! She graciously took it upon herself to give feedback to all the entries. I only mentioned to her that I was hosting the round. I am blown away that she would take the time to give her thoughtful comments too. Not only does she know what’s she’s talking about, her writing is possibly the most beautiful I’ve ever read. So, *hugs* Beth. We are ever so grateful!

The participating writers are top notch! Not only are the writing samples quite good and full of potential, but the feedback given by many of them is sooo good. I can see that much thought was put into each and every critique. Your words will help other writers more than you know. I’ve been in contact with a few of the entrants. They’re still working on their feedback, so keep checking back…there’s still more to come! Giving feedback does take time and I can appreciate that all of us are juggling more than just writing. 🙂

Traffic to the blog was off the charts this week. Visitors clicked on your stories from all over the world! That tells me that even though there weren’t a lot of comments on the samples, many, many people clicked on to read your words. How exciting is that?? Maybe as word of Critique Corner spreads, we’ll have even more writers participating and even more readers commenting. You can all help with that. If you think this critiquing each other’s samples is helpful to your writing, then tell your writer friends about it. 🙂

On that note, if you have ideas for Critique Corner, I’d love to hear it. I’m thinking we could do another first 300 word round again, or we could try something else. Like maybe have writers submit their revised first 300 words plus their next 300 words (since we’re already familiar with their opening), or choose a 300-500 word scene from anywhere in their manuscript and we could critique that. Or maybe choose an emotional scene or a fighting scene or something. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment. I’m up for anything!

I feel okay spending most of my Manuscript Monday post talking about Critique Corner this week because as you have probably guessed, a lot of my writing time was spent critiquing and managing the blog (which was fun BTW). However, on this week five of my new manuscript, I did manage to write another 1500 words of Atria’s story. I’m working hard to iron out her quirks and get a feel for who she is. I’m still not sure what major conflict she’ll face in the story, but I’m trying not to worry about it. As I discover who she is, I’m hopeful that I’ll know what makes her tick and what is most important to her. That’s when I’ll really know how to put roadblocks in her way! In order to do that, I guess I better keep writing. I hope you will too. I hope the feedback you received last week (or read last week) from the blog was helpful. Remember, more comments should be coming so please check back. I hope some of the tips will inspire all of you to keep the words flowing and to bring your stories to life. There are so many of us here pulling for you. You are more talented than you think, and probably closer than you think to making your dreams of publishing your story a reality. So keep at it…and I will too!

6 thoughts on “Manuscript Monday #5

  1. Beth Hautala says:

    Thanks for running such a fantastic blog and for the lovely words of praise! Truly, regardless of where you land in the writing journey, knowing someone thinks what you’ve slammed against paper is worth reading (and worth sharing!), means the world. It was a pleasure and I hope I can participate again in the future!

    • swirlandspark says:

      Beth, you are welcome here any time! Thank you for your kind words about the blog. 🙂 We’re looking forward to hearing updates of your publishing news and of course reading your book. Ah. Middle Grade. My first love!

  2. Scarlett Kol says:

    I really enjoyed the experience on the Critique Corner. I had so many great comments for my piece and it was amazing how people see things that I completely missed. This was an excellent opportunity for anyone trying to get feedback. Thanks again!

    • swirlandspark says:

      Scarlett, I’m so glad you found it helpful! I’m always happy to have other people look at my work. I can read something 50 times and miss something obvious to an objective reader! Thanks for all you did to let other writers know about this round. Hopefully, if there’s interest, we’ll have another one soon. 🙂

  3. Daniel B. says:

    I too got some really great feedback and ideas from this experience. It was SO worthwhile and I thank you for the opportunity to participate. I’d do this again in a heartbeat!

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