The Final Read Thru

16 Sep

So, as a final read thru of the re-writes and changes, I’m here with my writing bff taking turns reading our manuscripts aloud.

 

Wow! 

  

So much gets caught when you sit back and read/listen to someone read your stuff to you. I mean, I’m beyond the “change this word” phase and looking at the continuity.

 

Things I’ve found:

  1. I conveniently assumed no one would wonder where one of my main secondary characters went for two chapters
  2. Reading it through without the edit starts and stops allowed me to see a beat a dead horse in a couple of places
  3. My secondary character who will follow the arc of the series took over in a few places — I had feared this and had already picked which scene I would cut if I had to — My lovely CP said, “why don’t you trim those and take out her ‘presence’ in small scenes she’s part of so she’s almost just scenery” — doing this I found that she felt like she was in it a lot less and those trims allowed me to not cut the scenes I didn’t want to
  4. But not all of them were bad! I found that doing the rewrite and bringing everything from book 2 BACK to book 1 grew the book in intensity and scope beyond what I thought
  5. I made my CP cry – twice! – and not from misplaced commas
  6. Obviously she’s read the whole thing in pieces as we went along for months – She hasn’t seen it in almost 5 months and reading the whole thing at once, she saw all the symbolism, foreshadowing and mysticism as they grew – and loved them 🙂
  7. I still love this book

 

So, my excitement continues to grow as I get read to send out my requests this weekend (hopefully & finally) – I cannot tell you how glad I am to have put it aside and come back to it.

 

One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that   – for me –  the manuscript has to sit in the drawer for 8 to 12 months before I can do my last read throughs (yes, throughS, as in 2) – You know, you hear this advice and think, “well, that one isn’t for me” and sometimes you’re write….. and sometimes you’re wrong. I was wrong and I wasted 2 months submitting thinking I was done, then coming back to it completely fresh – WOW.

 

Just wow.

 

So, I’d love to hear what writing/life thing you learned this week!

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2 Responses to “The Final Read Thru”

  1. Celise September 17, 2008 at 12:52 am #

    Like you, I’ve started to realize that it’s important to read your stuff out loud. Unfortunately, I don’t have a CP because I don’t like to let anyone see my WIP. The few times of done so, I’ve come down with writer’s block for months. That’s just how I roll. LOL.

    I can’t believe you let your MS’s sit that long! I don’t know if I could do that. Actually, I think I’m doing that right now with the 2nd book in my series. It’s the first draft, I really didn’t end it, and I have to fill in a lot of blanks. It was tougher this time around and I think I just needed to set it aside.

  2. briaq September 17, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    Yeah Celise- the letting it sit thing *yuck*

    The honest truth is I learned this one the REALLY REALLY REALLY hard way. I thought I was done and submitted to several people and started my next WIP.

    When the rejections came in and I decided to combine book one and two, I went back (three months later almost) and reread book one to join them — it was AMAZING – I’ll always start the next book and give that one the rest from here on out!

    And, *yuck* again on the writers block. . . I’m having a touch of that with my short I have to get out friday — maybe have a CP where you trade stuff when you’re done instead of as you go? Then you can feel like you got to do it all and its a sweep?

    I couldn’t live without mine — especially because of the dyslexia. You would not believe some of the things I’ve accidentlatly said!

    Also, there’s a free program called ReadPlease that will read to you — after about 10 mins you get used to the fairly stilted voice and it really helps you to catch those little words you missed!

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