Sunday, May 2, 2010

Finished Manuscript: Now What?

Anyone who is a writer knows how glorious is feels to actually complete a manuscript. It is a feeling of true accomplishment. You were somehow able to take a little idea in your head and create an entire story. But then what? What do you do with that completed manuscript? After finishing up the final pages of my book, I wanted to show everyone my “masterpiece”. But I knew better than that. Just because I had finished writing the book, didn’t mean that it was complete. My book needed editing and a fresh pair of eyes. It will amaze you at what obvious mistakes others can find in your work. When you reread your own book, you know what it is suppose to say or look like. So often, your eyes will miss simple mistakes. Luckily for me, my top editor comes cheap. My dad has been editing my work since grade school and he never lets me down.

After reviewing my work, I always pass it on to my dad first. After he edited this book, I was lucky enough to have two avid readers to edit for content and character development. My mom and close friend were great in asking questions about the story and characters. Questions that should have been answered by the text, but I had neglected. After answering all their questions and once again revising the text, I was ready to share with the rest of my family. My main goal was to get my nieces, age 7 and 9, to read it and review it. I was a little hesitant that they may not be honest with their review, but when my 9 year old niece completed the book in one day, I assumed she must have liked it. With both girls giving their seal of approval, I was ready to move on to the next step. So what is the next step? The toughest part of all….finding an agent!