Saturday, November 24, 2012

Finished a Full Manuscript-What comes next?

I've been asked a few times where am I sending my NaNoWriMo manuscript to? What hapened to polish, polish, and polish until it shines? I undertake a series of drafts? I'm surprised as I usually let a manuscript sit for a while before sending it out, don't you?

Here is what comes next before I even consider sending it to an editor.
    Draft 1
    Complete manuscript. (Yah finished on the 20th in Na No) :)50.000 words plus I had 30.000 words already written. I now work on the bones of the story, the plot, the characters, and strength of the storyline and romance, which are vital for a manuscript.
    Draft 2
    I cut adverbs(but I find I hardly use them)  and I cut sentences, which serve no purpose at all, sentences that do not move the story forward. I also hack at any tags, not that I use them too often but sometimes they creep into my work without realising. Next, it's repeats. I'm a terror for repeating myself. I wonder if this is because I have to repeat, repeat and repeat to my husband. Lol Also words I have used that I have repeated  too close together.  When I cut sentences or scenes, I add paragraphs with real meaning, paragraphs that will move the story forward.  I make sure there are no unwanted full stops, missing question marks, anything to do with punctuation.
    Draft 3
    This is where I make sure all questions have been answered, everything is tied up and it makes sense. I also check time lines, dates, and make sure I haven't got three years instead of seven. I make sure the hero and heroines motivation and goals are clear and strong. I add more scenes if necessary. I also make sure it isn't lacking description or over done with description.
    Draft 4
    This is where I read  the entire manuscript over with a critical eye pretending to be an editor. I am objective and critical of my work. If a paragraph doesn't sound right or it doesn't flow,  I change it around, make sure it flows. It may have good emotion, suspense, but perhaps it's not strong enough so I improve it. I ask myself, where, what, when, and why. I ask the questions in every scene, every chapter to make it flow as best as I can. I also ask the question have I made use of the five senses where possible? Taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound.
    Draft 5
    I let it sit. It maybe for six weeks, it depends on what else I have going on around me. Then I start at the beginning and read it through as a reader and an editor. Is this the type of novel I would love to read? Would it drag a reader in and keep her there? Have I started in the right place with an action scene?
    END. I may not do this in this entire order, but you should get the gist of my how to. Most times I am still not satisfied, so I go over it again, or I think of something that I hadn't added or taken away.  I read the manuscript at least three times to make sure nothing is overlooked.
    Now it's time for my critique partners to rip it apart. Lol.. It comes back I either change something or I believe it is required and it stays. Then perhaps now it is ready for the eyes of an editor.
     During the next week I'm going over another manuscript and adding the romance, which an editor would like to see. It was originally a Suspense with romantic elements, so now it's moving forward into a Romantic Suspense.
    Okay, lots to do, and work on as you can see,
    Be good, and don't forget to smile. You know it takes more muscles to frown than to smile. :)