SARAH PARKER RUBIO

Rework

I really wanted to launch this blog with the ink already dry on my first book contract. It would have been much more legit, right? And everything was going so well. I had the idea, I wrote the book, people liked it, someone wanted to publish it, I started to tell friends and family . . . and then it all fell apart.

It happens—that’s the business. I grieved. I angsted. I put the manuscript away and tried to forget it existed for a while. And then I was ready to move on.

But, the thing is, I still really like my little book. I don’t want it to languish unseen forever. I don’t want its life to end as a mildly painful memory.

The problem is that it was written to a very specific concept, and I don’t think it will work in its current form in a different context. So a couple nights ago, as part of my Beyond NaNoWriMo Plan, I took it out, dusted it off, and set about reworking it.

Usually, when I’m editing a manuscript, I’m changing things I don’t like, whether it’s a misused semicolon, a dangling plot point, or a theological inaccuracy. That’s fun. I’m quickly discovering that it’s a lot less fun to change things that already felt right to me. I liked my new idea for framing the story, but as I tried to reshape the elements of the book to fit it, I started feeling like a bull in a china shop. I only got through about a third of the way through the very short picture-book manuscript before I ran into a wall and had to close up shop for the night.

  1. August 20, 2018 - Reply

    Oh, how I can relate to this! I just saved my ms. as “revision #22” and to be honest, I didn’t save it as a new revision every time I went through it, so it’s probably an even more ridiculous number.

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