Saturday, August 4, 2012

Labor of Love


Five years ago, after a catastrophic ankle fracture required six months of recuperation, I began writing a novel. I knew I possessed the raw talent to complete this task without embarrassing myself or my family, but I had no clue how demanding writing could be. That one manuscript has haunted me.
I have a sum total of four finished novels awaiting edit, but I keep coming back to this first effort. Maybe my hatred of unfinished tasks or my tenacious personality won’t allow me to let it go. Or perhaps this manuscript represents a time in my life when I stood at a crossroads and chose my own path.

These past few weeks, I’ve had to make some difficult decisions. Some valuable advice from three different areas—a couple of knowledgeable beta-readers, my incomparable critique group, and a respected agent who would like to represent it IF—led me to a restructuring of this first manuscript.
I cannot stress to you how difficult this was for me. I had been holding on to story lines and characters muddying up the overall story arc and making it difficult to reach a satisfactory denouement. While my family and I vacationed on a non-wifi island (try that with a couple of sixteen-year-olds), I put on my big girl pants and cut, cut, cut.

Having trimmed all those unnecessary elements, I believe I’ve created a better product. In the next few months, I hope to report the representation of this manuscript. Otherwise, it’s time to move on.
Wish me luck.

Happy writing,
Melissa