I had an interesting thing happen this week. A dear friend of mine was asking about a manuscript I had sent her the first chapter of a few years ago and how the story had developed. I told her it was complete and she asked if she could read it in its entirety. I was (am) very grateful she wanted to give me feedback so I compiled the document and sent it off. She emailed me a few hours later asking about a chapter which seemed out of place. I looked back at the document. And oh, my, stars. MORE than one chapter was out of place. I wracked my brain for what might have happened and remembered that sometime last fall I was going to try an exercise I’d found helpful before, where I save the current version of a manuscript and do a radical revision where I move around chapters to see if it creates a better flow to the story. But, I must have forgotten to complete the exercise and it left the manuscript choppy and completely jumbled. Ugh. I found the original version, reset the manuscript, and resent the document to her. Big sigh.
I received feedback from her which I was (am) hugely grateful for. She brought up some great questions about the characters and relationships and I was able to ask some targeted questions about the story. That was a really lovely thing and something that is priceless to an author I think. Being able to ask about our stories, to get a feel for how something is playing in a story or coming across to a reader helps us to better realign the story when and where we need to. After fixing the manuscript and speaking with her, I didn’t do much else with writing this week. I needed to stop and take some time to recharge and be still.
This week I am going to dive into the manuscript I just received feedback on, to give it a polish revision. I realize looking at what I had done with the radical revision that I love the chapters where they were and with some tweaks and targeted work it will be quite polished. I want to continue revising the Nanowrimo 2018 manuscript as well. I haven’t added to the new story in a bit and I need to make a decision before I decide to continue on it. I need to decide if I continue to write that manuscript or I add to the manuscript that needs the polish revision. It is sitting happily at nearly 60,000 words, but it could use an additional 10,000 to fill it out in certain places. I want to take some time this week to decide how I’ll move forward and what it would look like/where in the story I would add to.
Have you ever gotten distracted during a project or lost your place in a project? Remember, you’re doing a great job and you are more than enough.
This makes me think about how in life we get distracted and sometimes do things out of order. We don’t completely focus on what is right in front of us because we are thinking ahead. I know I have done this more than a few times. You are lucky to have the support and honesty of your dear friend. Happy writing!