Friday, March 26, 2010

FINISHED! Kinda. On the importance of taking a break from your manuscript.

It’s always a great feeling. A book is finished.

Well, not actually finished. More like finished for now.

I have finished Edward County. The book is done to my satisfaction. It comes in at about 94,000 words. I’ve been working on it for nine months.

Today I sent it to people for critiquing. Which means that in about a month I will get it back with all the problems pointed out. Sigh, and I’ll get back to it.

I try to take Stephen King’s advice, as told in his book, On Writing. King says you have to take at least a six-week break from the book and then go back and look at it again. I find that is long enough that you can then regard the MS with a slightly different eye. The problem with any book you’ve been working on for almost a year is that you know the story so well you can’t see the problems. Did X cause Y, but in the manuscript Y comes first? Is the character’s motivation clear to the reader, or is it only clear to the author?

So now Edward County is out the door.

Time to start the next Molly Smith.

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