Monday, September 6, 2010


Okay, so not as many words this week as last week. I only churned out 6k words, so I'm at a total of about 23k words. What I'm finding is that I'm more meticulous in word selection now. And being meticulous is time-consuming. While my word-count goal is still important, I don't want to rush this story. This story needs to be told, but it needs to be told right.

A few of you mentioned that I don't have to submit it the very first day the contest opens. While I want to get as close to that date as possible, all of it would be a waste if I turned in a rushed manuscript. It would be like baking a cake but forgetting a key ingredient. It looks delicious, the icing is pretty, but when you dig in...something is missing.

I don't want the judges to spit my manuscript in their napkins. So, meticulous it is. Is this the right decision?


  1. If I were you I'd get the story down on paper and then go back through each word and make the meticulous choices once you get your rough draft down. It can take months to really revise a manuscript well, no matter how careful you are in the first draft. I'd just let it fly as fast as possible, and then spend your quality time on revision.

  2. You know what? You're right, Melissa. I shouldn't be obsessing over where to put the couch when the house isn't even built! Thanks for the slap in the forehead. We all need those sometimes! :)

  3. Hi Anna,
    My advice, if I may give you one, would be to ask one of your editors, friends, or members of writing group to read whatever you have written up to now. In this way, you won't waste any time editing yourself. Right now you should write like there's no tomorrow without stopping to edit. For every 8, 10, 15 pages you write, ask someone to read them while you type the rest of your MS. I hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. I can't force a story, if it comes, it comes, otherwise I'm not happy with it. I can aim for a wordcount, but in the end, my creativity has full control of the story, but I can't turn on my creativity like a light. It comes out in a rush and then I go back and re-read, edit several times, do a vocabulary injection to beef up the words and add variety, and edit some more. With a contest like ths, or any publisher/agent, you have to provide a highly polished, fully engrossed ms. Don't rush just to make a deadline. If you miss this one, then that gives you another year to super polish that sucka'.

  5. Claudia, my critique partner is combing through it as I finish each chapter (did I mention how great she is?). And please, NEVER hold back your advice. :)

    Kaylie,that would be my normal gut feeling too, but I've been researching this contest. Apparently, I will only be judged on my first 50 pages to make it to finals. BUT I must have a completed manuscript upon entering ( and provide proof of said completed manuscript). So, I'm going to type my child-like fingers down to nubs to get that sucka' completed, and worry about polishing those first 50. After I've submitted, then I'll make the rest of it purdy. :)