Welcome to the Dust It Off Bloghop!
The first day, May 3rd: Post a 1-2 sentence pitch about the shelved WIP. You can see my post here (and the pics I have in it!).
The second day, May 5th: Post your favorite excerpt (300-350 words). You can find it here (and the soundtrack!).
Today, the third day, May 7th: Post what you learned from this WIP. You become a stronger, more rounded writer which each manuscript and we want to know what this particular work taught you.
I chose SANDS OF HOPE for this hop. It was the very first novel I wrote when I decided to get serious about writing, and I learnt a lot while and after writing it.
I learned a lot … like I said before, it was my first serious manuscript, but I had no notion of craft.
What did I do wrong?
First, I began with huge amounts of backstory. I told the girl’s whole life in the first 10 pages LOL Then, I would describe too much and in the wrong moment. Whenever my characters walked into a new room, I would stop and describe everything. EVERYTHING. I was even meticulous about the size of the damn room hihi I also described every time she changed her clothes .. and was meticulous about that too. And I repeated the color of eyes and hair of almost everyone very often.
Gosh, how terrible I was …
I love the story, the twists, the characters and their motivations, but, well, the writing was poor and too long … since I described EVERYTHING and went into detailed backstory for at least two characters, the first draft of the manuscript ended up at 155,000 words! Seriously!
Oh, and I told the story in multiple POVs (at least I didn’t switched them mid-scene), but the thing is, it’s Egypt, so it was historical and the word choice had to be careful and I wasn’t careful. I wrote as if Sethi and the others lived in our modern world, talking casually. You can check that again on the excerpt posted two days ago. Since I’m still not comfortable writing historical, if I ever re-write this story, I’ll focus on Shannon’s POV only. I guess that will be good for Sethi’s mysteriousness, and, well, we all love a mysterious guy ;)
Well, I’m never repeating those errors again!
My second manuscript was already much, much better, but I knew I still had much to learn. In fact, I guess I’ll never stop learning, even if someday I do get published … I also noticed my English gets better and better from manuscript to manuscript ;)
(sorry, no pics or videos today!)
How about you? What have you learned from your old manuscripts?
On another note, I’m talking about writing and publishing New Adult at the NA Alley blog today. It’s quite interesting, you should check it out!