Letting your manuscript simmer…

Wooot! Well, the first draft of the newest manuscript is complete. It’s a major accomplishment it and of itself, so I’m going to celebrate. Actually, no, I’m not. I’m going to do parent volunteer hours at the Lookouts Game tonight for my daughter’s school. Cuz that’s how we roll at the Young household!

I did take the dog for a walk once I typed those last few words though. She seemed excited. We’ll pretend she was excited about my manuscript instead of the walk.

And with that, I’ll begin my search for a few folks crazy enough to read my manuscript in a couple of months. First I have to let it breathe for a week or two, then I’ll start revisions. Normally I’d let it sit a bit longer, but I started this manuscript when we first moved back to Chattanooga (two years ago). Then my mother had her open heart surgery and came to live with us for a couple months, and I put it on the back burner. Then I started working on it again, but when school started (remember I’m a teacher during the day, folks) and my mom’s heart problems took a turn for the worse I put it on hold indefinitely. In other words — I haven’t looked at the first half of that book in almost a year.

The good news is, I think it simmered quite well while no one was looking.

I had no idea how well that story had knitted itself together in the back of my mind while I was busy doing other things. I have some inconsistencies to repair, a subplot to shore up, and an antagonist to hide a bit better in the first few chapters — but other than that I’m amazed how well this manuscript came together compared to the last. The last one took six years and as many complete overhauls before I pronounced it ready to read. This one, however, was much more concise in my head. The experts say to let it simmer, let it sit. Let your subconscious work out the kinks while you’re not looking. All I can say is, I’m hoping this is what happens with a little experience and not a mere fluke.
I’ll find out soon enough though, I think. As I have another character vying for my attention. It’s time to start manuscript number three, y’all!


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