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From Manuscript to Published Work: A Mindful Progress Report Journal - week 1, post 1

Hello Friends!

[FONT=&amp]I’ve heard that one great way of staying on track and accomplishing your goals is to share them with other like-minded folks who can help keep you accountable to what you’ve planned. Not that I expect or am looking for that degree of commitment from any readers here (in fact, it would be overwhelming), just the idea of reporting my progress seemed beneficial enough. Who knows—maybe it will help some other writers accomplish their goals?

[FONT=&amp]This coming week will be the first, fully committed week that I will embark on this journey of rewriting a story I set aside about twelve years ago. While not my first choice as my first published work, it has one major benefit: it is a complete, novel-length manuscript. At 90k words, I think it is short for the genre (fantasy). If I make a to-do list, rediscovering what the industry standard for length for my genre and intended audience will have to be at the top.

[FONT=&amp]Why is it not my first choice for publication? It is a fantasy novel. Pigeonholing myself as a fantasy novelist is not my intention; selling a work of fiction is. Actually, it’s become something of a household joke. I’ve been writing for years; what have I to show for it? Not much. There’s an old saying that goes, “if you keep doing the same thing, expect the same results.” Or, something like that. If I want to sell what I write, then it’s pretty obvious I can’t keep doing the same thing I’ve always done. And I certainly haven’t been, seeing that I’ve taken a four-year hiatus from writing for grad school. Still, I am a little upset at choosing a fantasy as my first novel for publication.

[FONT=&amp]The other complaint I’ve run into is, if it’s a novel-length manuscript, then why do you feel so compelled to rewrite it? Easy. It’s awful. Don’t get me wrong—the idea is great, it’s just…some, well, most of the writing itself has a lot to be desired. From the little I made myself read of it, oh does it need more than editing to solve all its woes! (If you picture how the fifth-grader looks at his little third-grade brother’s homework, you’re getting the picture.) One thing I’ll work on is [/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]the argumentation[/FONT][FONT=&amp]. What I mean by this is I now see a more clear way to say what I’ve said and how that works to streamline the entire story. I’m anticipating these changes resulting in at least a 20k word decrease which, in turn, will allow greater development of its currently shabby B-storyline.

[FONT=&amp]I picture the tasks I have before me will be fairly orderly. Already I’ve mentally re-outlined the manuscript. (This was a great activity to do on a long car ride—hence, why it wasn’t written down.) This week I’ll be writing out the outline as I remember it, complete with the changes I made in the car. I have large drawing paper for diagramming and brainstorming, a voice recorder on hand, and a planner for scheduling my time. Sure, there was a time when everything I wrote was completely organic, but let’s face it. How I approached it before never did get me published, did it?

[FONT=&amp]What I would like to do here with the blog is to pop in once in a while and post updates on my progress. (Okay, so I still struggle with making a time commitment, even for once a week!) Sadly, I have no intention of sharing the work online at this time. Therefore, what I’ll be writing about is the process. What worked? What didn’t? That kind of thing. So, until I have something more of interest to report, tallyho! It’s off to the laptop I go…



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Megan Pearson
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