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 15 week- old manuscript:
Like most writers, I have several ideas tucked away, waiting for me to turn them into a story. In my case, these ideas are scribbled in a notebook. Every once in awhile, I open it up and skim through the jibberish. This week, while working on my draft, one of these ideas popped into my head. I’m not sure why, because I already have too many stories competing for my attention. I’m certainly not about to begin writing another!
But as the week went on, this idea (that really is nothing more than a situation) kept lurking.
I’ve gotten much better this time around at being patient with my ideas. I realized that if they are worth developing, they will take shape in my mind when they’re ready. And so that’s what I did with this one. Originally this idea/ situation was intended to be a YA book if I ever decided to go in that direction. The mere thought of writing YA makes my hands sweat though. I’m barely mature enough to handle YA situations! How in the world would I write about them? I’m comfortable in my tween/ early teen skin, thank you very much!
But as I let the idea/ situation simmer, I thought of a way I could turn it into the backdrop of my new MG story. As it is, I only really have a bunch of characters doing a bunch of stuff. I don’t have a solid foundation or world in which they live. By incorporating this new thing, I’ve opened up a whole bigger world in which my MC resides, based on an unusual family situation.
So yay!! I drafted paged this week off some notes I found scribbled in my notebook several years ago. It’s amazing how real a few phrases can become when you place them in the right context! So far they’re working. They fit with my main idea and they firmly place my main character in a place where her unusual hobby makes sense. And I’m so surprised! An idea originally thought for a more serious YA book may just be the backdrop that works for my speculative fiction middle grade!
I’m letting this be a lesson to myself. Never scrap any idea, no matter how small or irrelevant it may seem. It’ll wiggle its way into a story eventually if you let it!
Does this happen often to you? Do you keep a file or journal full of your greatest ideas? Do you ever check back on them for inspiration? Ever use any of them? If not, give it a try. It might be the key to a scene that needs that little something extra, or a plot hole that needs fixing.
In the crazy days of this holiday season, I hope you catch some time to work on your own manuscript. Most days I’m finding it almost impossible to fit in even a few minutes to write and I’m betting you’re having the same problem too. But, here’s hoping we all get a few words in this week, and if not, at least a quiet moment to let the ideas swirl until we can get them down on paper. 🙂
Before you head off to work, or shop, or wrap, or bake, take a second to click on Writer’s Showcase. My talented, young writing friend, Mackenzie submitted the beginning of her new short story to the blog! It was so awesome for her to share her work with all of us…and so brave. I know how hard it can be for any of us to let the world read what we’ve written. It’s a great start to a story. Reading it made me remember the earliest adventures I wrote about when I was young, and definitely inspired me to open my manuscript and write something that kids will want to read! Take a look. I bet you’ll agree with me! 🙂