Manuscript Monday # 7

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 7 week- old manuscript:

Happy Monday!

Today, as much of our country closes down and takes a breather in honor of Christopher Columbus, I thought it would be fitting to remember just how important the discovery process is to any manuscript we write. (A far- fetched connection there maybe, but I did try.) 🙂

I’ve spent most of my Monday Manuscript posts so far, talking about this very thing. I think it’s safe to say we’ve established that it’s important to discover exactly who your characters are and exactly where in the entire world they will tackle the tough tasks you’ll throw their way.

But that’s not the type of discovery I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about the discoveries we make about ourselves, as we write our manuscripts. I could probably write a whole (boring) short story about the lessons I’ve learned from writing mine over the last several years. Don’t worry though. I won’t do it. That would be the worst short story ever!

I did discover something new this week though that I bet many of you can relate to. Although I have a pretty big imagination and a creative mind (like most writers)…it does have its limitations. I may be able to juggle several characters in there at once and even a few subplots too, but there does come a point when I can’t shove any more story stuff in there. At All.

I discovered this week that as much as I want to be working on my new manuscript, I can’t right now. Yikes. I said it. And here’s why… I work as a writer professionally too. My current assignment is to write a non- fiction book with fiction elements to it. It’s a great assignment and I’m loving working on this project. The trouble is, this story needs to have believable characters, high stakes, real life conflicts, and an interesting setting—all things that any great book has. In order for me to write this story well, I had to take a break from writing my new middle grade manuscript. I was going crazy this week trying to keep both stories straight.

If you’re anything like me, your stories float around in your head and make their presence known at random times throughout the day. These are the times my best ideas take place. I can flesh out my characters this way, or figure out how to best resolve their conflicts. Then when I’m ready to write, I know where to begin. But over the last few days, I’ve discovered why I’m having such a hard time outlining and drafting my new middle grade manuscript. It’s because I’m knee deep in the middle of this business story draft and these characters are taking over all the creative space in my head!

My intention with my Manuscript Monday posts is to show what it’s really like writing a manuscript from start to finish—the good and bad. But earlier this week I was hesitant to put this manuscript on the back burner even for a week or two, especially because I’m supposed to document my progress on this blog. I felt like I was letting anyone reading these posts down. But a good friend of mine reminded me that taking a break is exactly what happens to most writers at some point while they write their story. We all have obligations—kids, jobs, whatever. They all need to be taken into consideration by any writer. And so that’s where I’m at in week seven of my new MG manuscript… I’m taking a short break while I focus on my work project. Hopefully next week, or the week after that I’ll be back at it. 🙂

But… since this is a blog about writing, you might be interested in my progress with my work- related book. This week I made it to the 1/3 way mark of my draft. I reached 15,000 words! I’ve been writing about 2000 words almost every day for weeks. I’m not sure about you but that’s WAY more writing than I usually do. So I am really happy with that. 🙂 I’ll be writing even more (2500 words/ day) for the next few weeks since I need to have a finished draft completed by the end of the month. So even though I haven’t made much progress on my own story, at least there’s that!

How about you? Do you have any writing updates to share that can push the rest of us to keep going forward? It’s been great to connect with so many of you lately. So what do you say? Let us know what you’re working on!

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