Revising An Old Manuscript

 

Revisiting an Old Manuscript

By Janice Seagraves

Hi, this is Janice Seagraves. I’ve the author of nine books and six short stories.

I wrote lots of stories before I was ever published. A lot of those book-length manuscripts were what I learned on. When you first start out you have to write and write and write so you can learn. And I was no different.

Twin Heart is an early book-length manuscript that I had learned on but had never forgotten. The characters in it feel like old dear friends.

Feeling nostalgic one day, I pulled Twin Heart’s file out and started revising it. I’ve learned a lot over the ten years since I wrote the manuscript and though I should be able to fix it, no problem.

It was a mess!

Missing punctuations, run-on sentences, and drifting POVs. Just to name a few.

I have a lot of work to do if I’m ever going to get my dear old friend up to snuff.

The first two chapters weren’t so bad, but the further along I dug the worse it got. Some chapters read like filler and didn’t further the plot or add anything to the storyline. And there are thirty-two chapters in my manuscript.

Thirty-two.

And over 115,000 words. My manuscript can certainly use some trimming.

Things I’m looking out for as I revise my manuscript:

  • Fix common mistakes: errors in punctuation, repeated words, drifting POVs.
  • Do the sentences make sense?
  • Are too many sentences started with a -ing word?
  • Do the sentences use it as a subject of the sentence instead of a noun?
  • Are words spelled right or an I using a wrong word choice?
  • Break down run-on sentences into smaller sentences.
  • Delete unnecessary words.
  • Kill my darlings.
  • Read the manuscript out loud.

Once I get the problems taken care of, I’ll have to write out the manuscript chapter by chapter as if I was writing a synopsis so I can figure out what can stay and what can go.

The delete button has already become my friend.

Now, why did I start this project again?

Oh, yeah, dear old friends that are the characters in the manuscript.

*sigh*

At least the bones of the story are good. I just have to delete, rewrite, and make stronger a bunch of the bad sentences to make the good shine through.

Have you ever dragged out an old manuscript with designs on fixing it?

What happened?

 

Vlog: The Right POV For Your Story by Janice Seagraves

THE Right POV FOR YOUR STORY

By Janice Seagraves

 

Hi, I’m Janice Seagraves. Sorry I’ve been absent, but I’ve had a health crisis of sorts. After a week or nose bleeds and getting rushed to the hospital because I couldn’t stop the last one, I was told I have high blood pressure and must take meds from now on.

Now on to the point of this article: POV or Point of View means the eyes and ears of your story and it is important to pick the right POV for your story. You’re also showcasing that character’s feelings when something happens in any given scene.

Here’s a list of POVs and how they are used to help you decide on the right one for your story.

First Person POV: involves “I” and “me” in the story telling. You’re in the head of the protagonist only. What she or he see, hears, and feels is what is offered to you in the story telling. First person is used primarily by chick lit, urban fantasy, YA, and others. A lot of writers prefer this first-person narrative because you can really get into the head of your protagonist.

Second Person POV: used only rarely in which the point of view of a narrative work is told in the voice of the onlooker, which is you, the reader. For instance, the text would read, “You went to school that morning.” Is written as “you” see this, “you” hear that. Not my favorite POV. It feels clunky. I’ve seen this mostly for children’s lit. And the 1990’s pick your own ending novels.

Third Person POV: Can be told in two ways: Third person singular: which stay strictly with one person in each scene. Deep Third person: also stays strictly with one person but goes deeply into that person’s narrative almost as deep as first person. Is written with “she” or “he” sees this or hears that. It more universally accepted by publishers for fantasy, sci-fi, romance of any sub-genre, and many other genres.

Omnipotent POV or Narrator POV: This type of story telling is not used very much anymore except for children’s lit. It’s a type of floating narrative that was used primarily before 1980 or so. You can be in anyone’s head at any given moment or be floating above the action. It was used for a time in the early horror and gothic genres. But could be used in anything from romance to science fiction. I recently read an example of it in an early Anne McCaffrey novel. It’s loose, floating, and I find it confusing. Whose head are we in now? Who knows?

And add to that Omnipotent POV reads like head hopping and most editors frown on their writers using it.

What is the POV that I use? Deep third person POV. I find I can show case both the hero and heroine’s POV (in separate scenes of course) and tell the story well.

I hope this helps you in your own writing.

Please like and share and I’ll make another vlog next week.

Write Time in scenes by Janice Seagraves

 

Writing Time In Scenes

by Janice Seagraves

 

Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves.

Today, I thought I’d talk about time in writing. I don’t mean the day or week or month, but the speed in which things happen. Have you ever had someone tell you that your scene went too fast or maybe the opposite, your scene was very slow? And not in a good way.

Here’s some tips on how to fix that.

First, if your scene is going fast, you can odd more detail to slow it down. Believe me this trick works. Don’t know what to add in? Then I suggest describing what is happening in minute detail. Add in colors, textures, how things smell. Was the scent in the area nice, sour, or did it smell like something died? Maybe there is a background buzz that is irritating or soothing one of your characters? Add in details in all its glory: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Go deeper into your characters’ feelings. Add a pause as something else happens.

I had a scene that my critique partners said went too fast, so I added in more detail, more feelings, and more internal dialogue of one of the main characters. Then as they headed out, I wrote a pause. The heroine speaks to someone, while the hero is chumping at the bit to get her walking again then takes her arms and drags her down the road. And having one character wanting to leave the area, while the other is speaking to a secondary character can make the scene tense.

If you need to speed up a scene, then you’ll need to lose some of the detail. One time I added what in the business is called a ticking clock to speed things up. One of the characters is urging the others to hurry. His frustration shows whenever anything slows down. Have the characters speak in quick, short bursts.  One liners. No long dialogues. And if there is only two characters, you can leave off some of the dialogue tags. No one ambles anywhere in this scene. It’s all dashing, sprinting, and doing things fast.

Blog Post

It was my turn to post on Romance Books ‘4’ Us Blog.

I wrote about how I handled harsh critiques. And it has one of my vlogs attached to it.

Please like and subscribe.

https://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2019/03/harshcritiques-harsh-critiques-by.html