Category Archives: Manuscript

My Lost Manuscript Part 1

SONY DSC

Friday Jan 11,2013 will forever be a day when my heart nearly stopped. That was the day my computer lost my novel of 20k.  I am part of a group of writers who are striving to write every day for the year 2013. It could be a paragraph, a page or even more. It does not matter so long that you write.

Some of us have made a personal word count to try to achieve on a daily basis. Well early Saturday I had accomplished my word count, saved the document and moved on with my life. I did not pay much attention to my computer as I primarily worked offline.  I had started to make a list of all my short stories and books and placed them in a chart plus in a folder so I had ready access to them. When I looked for the book that I had been working on just that morning I could not find the file. It was not on the desk top, documents, temporary files or the trash bin.

Panic did fill me as I looked at each folder one by one in case I had misfiled. No cigar. I had just done a back up of my computer the day before so there was that. Until I plugged it in and the computer would not could not open it up. My heart was falling fast at this point as it beat faster in its descent.  I saw three files on my desktop that had the name of my book. I opened each one up. One had a page count of 24, the other 32 and the last one 41. My page count that morning had been 80. Shit shit shit

The tears started to flow as the realization that it might be gone. Calling my husband up I asked for advice, he stated he would look at my computer when he got home.  I have always written my writings by pen and paper first, always. In fact the first 10k of this book was written by hand. But I decided to see if I could do it by computer and save the time. Lesson learned, never again. It takes more time but it saves the heart aches  As I stared at the compute screen the tears flowed faster. With that came the anger. I started to fuss and scream and yell at the stupid piss of shit computer that had dared to take my book away from me. How it had nerve as it mock me with files that had half the book as it teased me into a false hope that they were the book I was so desperately looking for.

I sat back in my chair and just sighed softly to myself. I had been so careful with my works. I have three external hard drives that I do back ups on a more than regular basis. I can’t chance on anything happening to my works. I am so careful it borders on paranoia. But yet here I was with a MS of 20k words and it was gone. The lovely part, yes I am being sarcastic, was when I did a file search it first told me no such file existed yet my desk top clearly had three versions of it. Then a few minutes later my computer told me oh yes you do have that file and it is in this spot. Upon going to the location no such file existed. Yes my computer had the upper hand and it knew it.

To Be Continued…

My Online Platform

Writer’s Digest is a magazine I inhale. About a year and a half ago I was reading this article where the writer in her following credits listed her twitter name. The article was on online platform and how one can use it to further one’s works. That one little name got me started on establishing my presence.

A lot of people have told me well I don’t have a book out we should wait. That is the opposite of what you should do. No matter what magazine you read that is on writing or webinar you have seen the topic of online platform is bound to be talked about.

This is a tool that indie writers use to promote their works. But it is not just for indie writers, traditional houses are now following suit.

When you are a new author you need all the help you can get in promoting your works. This is done in a variety of ways from Twitter, FB, Goodreads and other forms of publicity.

In March of 2011 I made the move to getting my name out there. What I had to my credit was a number of complete books, short stories and my soon to be 2011 NaNo book but nothing in print. But that was okay. You want to start ahead before you release a book. You want people to know who you are and what you are about.

Doing it when you have a book out and then shouting, “ Hey hey look at me! I wrote a book come check it out” will get you some looks but not as much if you had planned ahead and started working on your platform.

By doing this in advance I have gotten a lot of positive feed back. One major woohoo was a small indie publishing company wanting to include two of my short stories in their anthology e-book. Something I am still pretty proud of for now I can say I been published. From that I met my current editor who is a dream and worth her weight in gold. It continues to meeting a publisher who helped me with my query letter that got my MS to being read by a few publishing houses. This all done before I had one single book out in print or in e-book format.

Pretty cool right? By doing all this people are starting to know me and what kind of stuff I write about. When I have up and down days they are there to help me with encouragement, suggestions and tips to help me along the way. I have a circle of publishers, editors, authors and bloggers to turn to in time of need. To say they are incredible is a gross understatement. These are people who are well established but take the time to help me out. Why? Because they know me from the various mediums we belong too. People who are making it in the business that I am attempting to break into. They are there for me because they have come to known me. I am no longer the new kid on the block. That is something that I can not put a price on.

Because of the people I have met my book is getting a second look at by a publisher. Something I can not say would have happened if I had done this alone. It would be a lonely walk if I had waited until my first book came out whether it was self publish or in print.  If the publisher decides to publish my book it would partly due to the people I have met through my online platform. And that would be freaken amazing.  Over the next few weeks I will dedicate one post a week to the various social medias I use in hopes of passing along to others what I have learned over the last year and a half.

The Rewrite

Recently I blogged about my awesome rejection letter. In the email the publisher pointed out why they were not going with my MS. He listed the reasons. When I asked if I could resubmit once revising he said yes he would check the book out again.

My initial reaction was days of glee and happiness. Okay it is still with me. But the days after I found out there is a cloud higher than nine and I was on it. After that came oh my gosh how the hell am I going to fix this the way it’s suppose to be? With that dread inside I contacted a few people for thoughts and suggestions on what to do. Once they responded I was ready to start.

Only problem is it took a few weeks before I had the guts to sit down and actually attempt this very important rewrite. The emotions that flooded me ranged from despair to frustration. I stopped dead.

Instead of getting started I stalled.

As the days flew by people asked me how much had I gotten done and sadly would have to reply that nothing had been accomplished. I mentally berated myself up for taking so long to get going on this. I repeatedly went back over the points that I had to fix, each time it screamed at me, “ You can’t do this, give up.”

Now that I have actually started, I believe this was all part of the plan. I needed to step away for a few weeks to gather my thoughts, get myself in check and when the time came it would happen. And it did.

This past week I redid the ending to the book. I went further and did a total rewrite of my first chapter. The only thing that remained the same was three paragraphs. I was on a roll. In that rewrite a new chapter emerged that I had not planned on. I kept going. Last night I wrote another chapter that brings conflict and internal tension to my main character. Something that was missing from my book. What I have left is two chapters to go. That means rereading it and making sure the holes have been filled.

The last week all that has been in my mind all that I could concentrate on was sitting down and revising this book. It has blossomed not just in word count but in strength. When I am finish it will go through the process like before. My editor Nancy will go over it and tighten it up. Will it be enough I am not sure. Every publisher has in mind what they are looking for and what works for their company.

Personally I am loving the changes. If when all is said and done this publishing house does not accept it, at least I know I have a better book now, then I did a few weeks ago. For that I thank the publisher for making me gut out my story, for making me toss things that did not work, for eliminating words regardless of word count, and for evaluating my story in a way that all writers should.

Thank you Mike.