I’m near the end of my manuscript…again. Several years ago, I completed the original manuscript, work-shopped it at a conference, revised it with two other writers, and started the query process to find an agent. So this is the second time I’ve approached THE END, and I can’t tell you how ready I am to finish this book and send it out into the world for the second time.
The idea for this book, which I call FAITH CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS, came to me years ago during a class I took called How to Teach Creative Writing. That was back when I was taking classes to renew my teaching license. Each of us each took turns coming up with lessons for the class. When it was my friend Elizabeth’s turn to teach , she handed us cards from the 1970s board game Masterpiece.
The card she handed me, Paris Street, Rainy Day by the French Impressionist, Gustave Caillebotte, sparked my original idea, but since then, the story has evolved–as stories do–so that almost nothing remains of that original idea. When I queried agents, I had requests for partials and a few requests for full manuscripts, but no one fell in love with my book the way I’d hoped. Before I sent the full manuscript to an agent I thought would be a perfect fit for FAITH, I sent it to an editor for a critique.
To make a long, painful story short, the editor absolutely hated my story and advised me to completely rewrite it and change everything. Devastated, I put the book away for about a year. When I could look at her critique without feeling hopeless and angry, I examined her advice and found nuggets I could use. I’ve spent the last year or so re-imagining plot, character, and point of view. Now, FAITH is almost ready to go out into the world with a more thoughtful and well-organized plot, deeper characterization, and dual points of view.
After attending a webinar with Abigail Perry through Women’s Fiction Writers Association I’ve been studying the Story Grid universe as a tool for revision and scene analysis. Once I understand Value shift so I can complete the Story Grid foolscap for my manuscript, I’ll have a blue print to stick to as I write the 15,000 more words until THE END. I’m almost there. Stay tuned…
Thank you for sharing this. For me, it’s the beginning that I write and rewrite endlessly. Takes me forever to get it to where I feel like it’s good enough to move forward. good luck to you!
It’s funny you should say that. After studying the Story Grid method, I’ve discovered that I need to add one more scene–to the beginning. I don’t know that I would have started writing at all had I realized how much there was to learn. I’m glad I wasn’t deterred, however!
Looking forward to reading your book and sharing it with our book club. Keep up the hard work and let me know if you are ready for another project.
Hey Chris! I can’t wait for it to be out so I can share it with everyone! I will definitely let you know.
I can not wait to read your finished project! I know as art is, a labor of love, that your work will finally be loved and appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time to read, Juli! I will let you know as soon as my book is available!