Let’s talk about my book. My manuscript, if you’re feeling fancy (but fancy like the Reba version, not fancy like the Iggy Azalea version – trust me, it’s way better). I’m hovering around a 35k word count on my VERY rough draft, I’ve mapped out the events through the story’s end and I’m so excited I can feel it down to the tips of my toes. This weekend I am barricading myself into a quiet room at my house and not emerging until my I’ve typed so much my fingers bleed. I may not even stop for a shower break. So glamorous. If you’re new here or need a refresher as to why I am so disgusting and borderline mental, I’m writing a young adult action/thriller/mystery/Lord knows what it’ll end up really being and you can read about it in this post.
Now I’m allowing myself to begin thinking about editing. How does one edit a book? I’m sorry, a manuscript. Real talk: I have no idea where or how to even begin that process. Well, actually, I assume the “where” part is rather simple: at the beginning. But the how? Woof. I need a Sonic Route 44-sized glass of pinot grigio like five minutes ago. If anyone out there who happens to be reading this has written, edited, queried and published a book, please please PLEASE hit me up with some editing advice.
I’ve got this great running list on my phone of ideas to work in during the editing stage. I’ll get a random idea and jot it down, wherever I am. Sometimes I think about it when I’m in that weird in-between-sleep-and-consciousness stage at night and then I wake up with notes to myself that say things like, “What if they drive a Ferrari through the forest?” and “Put snakes in everyone’s backpacks.”
I know, you can’t wait to read it.
While I won’t reveal exactly what I really am going to work into the story, there are a few things I definitely won’t be adding. And now, for your Friday enjoyment, is an only occasionally sarcastic collection of ideas and things that will positively, absolutely, 100% NOT be written into my manuscript during editing.
- A mysterious butterfly who delivers crucial knowledge and backstory, but speaks only through riddles and appears only when characters pull the magical sword from the stone.
- Come to think of it, a magical sword of any kind. No swords in this story.
- Tacos. Unfortunately.
- Burdensome exposition. I’m a big believer in dramatic action fueling a reader’s interest; start mid-adventure and readers will figure the rest out, like James Dashner’s The Maze Runner.
- A heavy Scottish brogue.
- Time travel and a mysterious island with smoke monsters, polar bears and shady former felons (I miss you, Lost).
- A title. Okay, so I really will need to add one of those at some point, but I just can’t yet. In my head I’m referring to the manuscript as one particular title but I’m not sure it’s kick-ass-y enough. More on this later.
- One single protagonist and point of view. Ooooooer.
- Child pornography.
Oh and this is in no way relevant to my manuscript but can we just do a quick show of hands for everyone whose obsession with Viola Davis was dramatically reawakened while watching How to Get Away With Murder last night?!
—The Wife in Training