Friday, November 9, 2012

Stop Shunning Your Manuscripts - Edit with Love

I have been shunning one of my manuscripts.

It was my favorite.  I still remember the night I jumped out of bed and began feverishly scrawling the idea for the character.  I had a hard time getting to sleep that night thinking, this is the one!  My first love. 

"And then she said I couldn't edit with her
anymore and now we aren't friends!"
via by Ned Horton
But after it received its second rejection, I tucked it away and stopped even cordially waving when I passed it in my notebook.   Some days I would put "edit Willie" on my to-do list, but I never got to the task.

Why was I being so harsh to my love?  I thought about the happy spring picnics where we would discuss our dreams for the future and the summer days by the beach where it would make me laugh so hard I snorted. 

I forced myself to give it a look the other day, after quietly saying sorry.  The manuscript got some much needed TLC, and I fell back in love again.  After that episode, I realized I had been displaying bad manuscript parenting.  

I needed to be nicer when it came to my editing notes too.  One poor manuscript had "Rework" written across the top, which was as enticing as "hey you, go down in the coal mine with a pick axe for 12 hours, okay?"  I crossed that off and wrote "Tighten up, Buttercup!"  Okay, I want to do that!

I have another story which is cute-ish but a tad blah.  Poor thing was only getting hand-me-down editing and had nothing nice to wear.  Enough was enough.   That one now says "Sis boom bah pow, Give me some Wow!"  I'm pretty sure I caught it standing a little taller with its new notes.

I am heading to the NJ SCBWI Writing Craft Day on Saturday, and I hope to come home with a gift for each manuscript.  Each one is unique, so the gifts will be different, but I’m going to try to be as fair as possible. 

Do you play favorites with your manuscripts? 


  1. I have a couple of ginger step-children I should probably spend a little more time with (figuratively speaking, that is).

    Moody Writing

    1. They could turn out to be your favorites with a little care and guidance!

  2. I'll be at the conference too! Yay!

  3. "Tighten up, buttercup" is perhaps the finest editing note ever. I wanna make you my beta reader.

    1. I may have to think twice about that if you are expecting all feedback in rhyme!

  4. So nice meeting you this past weekend, Lauri! I look forward to reading more of your blog. -Pam

    1. Pam - It was great meeting you too. What a fabulous event, and a great first conference for me. Please stop by often to chat!

  5. So nice meeting you this past weekend, Lauri! I look forward to reading more of your blog.


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