Friday, June 17, 2011


I shoved my chair away from my desk. I had been pouring over a manuscript for months. Meeting my daily word counts, and feeling somewhat satisfied with that goal.
However, something just wasn't right. No matter how I changed the story line, it just wasn't happening.
I remembered a line from Stephen King's book, On Writing, and I'm not quoting, throw the manuscript  in a drawer for a while.
How could I possibly do that? How could I just put my "friends" away and forget them? They are "real people" to me. I have lived with them for months. I wake up with them, and fall asleep with them.
Something just wasn't right. So I took Mr. King's advice, reluctantly.
 I tucked that manuscript away for a while. I tried to forget all about it. In fact, I started, and finished another writing project. 
Whenever I thought of the manuscript in the drawer, visions of paper shredders and scissors came to mind.
I decided yesterday was the day to pull that manuscript out of the drawer and dust if off.
I found a comfortable chair, glass of iced tea and sunglasses. 
As I began reading the manuscript I was even more upset than I remembered. Who wrote this? Ugggghhhhh. I think I was more focused on word count than content.
Anyway, I labored on and started liking it again. I also realized what I needed to cut and what could stay. 
I would rather write than eat, except chocolate.
I feel refreshed and renewed and ready to tackle this project to the end.
After reading with "fresh eyes" the problem I had been dealing with for so many months became so obvious.
Putting this manuscript in a drawer for a while was the best present I could have given myself.


Carol J. Garvin said...

I have a manuscript that I've put away, too. It's been revised several times and gone through a few beta readers. It should be ready to send out on submission but it still doesn't feel quite right to me. I'm hoping this time away from it will give me fresh eyes to see what it needs but this will be the second time I've stepped away from it. ::sigh:: I'm glad it worked for you.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

so far the only thing that has worked is knowing what I need to eliminate. I'm not feeling as frustrated now---so I guess that is a good thing!

Nancy Thompson said...

Hi Kathryn! I'm a new follower here. Saw you through Joylene's blog. I love this post. I learned this same lesson a few months ago. Too bad I didn't learn it earlier before I queried a bunch of agents! Live and learn, I guess.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Hi Nancy, Welcome! I'm a slow learner---Let me know how you are doing!