Manuscript Monday #13

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 13 week- old manuscript:

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend was full of fun—or at least full of some fun. 🙂

I have some business items to take care of before we get to the manuscript stuff…

Tomorrow is the last day to comment on last Wednesday’s post for a chance to win an ARC of Beth Hautala’s middle grade debut, WAITING FOR UNICORNS. Be sure to click on the post for details and a bit about her amazing book due to be released in January! I’m giving away two advanced copies, so if you’d like a shot, be sure to comment! I’ll announce the winners on Wednesday. 🙂

I’m thinking of ideas for our next Critique Corner round. I have a few ideas but I’m open to suggestions. We’re all at different stages with our work and it’s hard to please everyone, but I’d love to provide something that will benefit my loyal readers. If you have an idea, please feel free to comment.

Here are some of my ideas:

A critique of an entire chapter. I will put the limit at 5 entries (10 pages on each one), that way each person participating will need to critique only four others. Participants and readers would have a full week to make comments and give feedback. (This is a large commitment on the entrant’s part so if we do this, I would ask anyone entering to agree to critique the other four.)

A critique of 500 words from any place in the story. We all have problem areas that we need help on. If we choose this option, I will accept 10 entries and each participant would have to agree to critique 5 others. I will also ask that participants include a brief two sentence summary of what has happened before the scene so that readers will be able to follow the action.

A critique of the first 250 words. This is a common word count used when submitting to many on-line contests. If there are writers out there still struggling with how to make their opening page stronger, please let me know. This might be a good option. If we choose this option, I will accept 10 entries and participants would be asked to critique five others.

Any thoughts? Please comment your choice or another idea if you have one. I’m thinking of holding the round near the end of January. It should give you plenty of time to get your entries ready, and give all of us something to look forward to after the holidays!

So, as for me…

You may be wondering whether or not I made it into the Baker’s Dozen Agent Auction happening later this week on Miss Snarks First Victim’s Blog. Well, I’m sad to say that I did not get in. 😦 😦 😦

But, I’m okay. I spent the morning that I heard, pouting. I kind of walked around my house in a daze, wondering why my entry didn’t get picked. Truth be told, I really thought I had a good chance this year. What was it that made Authoress and Jodi say no? Why didn’t they see the potential in my story? Why didn’t they see what I did? I had no answer.

But my husband (aka Prince Charming) did. He whisked me away to our bagel shop (the one we always go to) and reminded me just how subjective this business is. He reminded me that there are so many reasons why my little story wasn’t chosen for the auction. And I already knew them all. Authoress was sweet enough to post about her reasons for passing. But which reason did she have for passing on mine? I could only guess…

But then instead of dwelling on the pass, Prince Charming reminded me of all the reasons my little story will be accepted one day. I sat in the bagel shop (kind of slumped in my chair, I imagine) while he rattled on about my characters, their adventures, and the obstacles they over come. He spoke about the possibilities of my story and how someone out there, when the time is right, will grab onto it and help bring it into the world for children to read.

And that’s all I really needed. Someone to remind me to believe in my story. And so then I sat up straight in my chair and ate my bagel. Cinnamon- raisin toasted with strawberry cream cheese. 🙂

Not long after our chat, I received a message from one of my amazing critique partners. Her message was the same and she urged me not to give up. And so I won’t. Ever. And that’s a for sure promise.

Later that week, I received a message from my other amazing critique partner, with similar encouragement for my little story. I was overwhelmed.

And so yeah, I’m okay. And more determined than ever to polish this story until it sparkles, and then send it out to 500 literary agents if I have to—until I find one that loves it as much as I do. And in the meantime, I’ll keep working on my new manuscript, because even though I love Spinning the Golden Light Bulb, I have room in my brain and in my heart for another story too. My MG about Atria Plum grew by 3000 words this week! Not bad for week 13 considering I spent a lot of time revising STGLB too.

So this week, I’ll keep writing… and I will definitely be stopping by the Bakers Dozen Agent Auction to check out the entries that were chosen. And even though mine wasn’t one of them, I can’t wait to critique and be a part of it all. It’s an amazing opportunity for writers and so much can be learned from seeing what stories the agents bid on. So if you have a chance, check it out!

I hope you’ve made some strides with your work too this week. If you have, I’d love to hear about it. And remember, if you’d like a chance to win WAITING FOR UNICORNS, comment on last Wednesday’s post. And if you have an idea for our next Critique Corner, comment about that too. Or just say, “Hey.” That works too!

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