Monday, July 30, 2012

Lisa Wheeler Says . . .

Week of July 29, 2012: Revise It, or Bury It?
Monday, July 30—Lisa Wheeler Says . . .

Lisa Wheeler
Picture Book Author Extraordinaire
(And my friend and adopted mentor)

I think there are two ways I know a manuscript is ready to be abandoned. The first is if I lose interest. I am generally excited when I begin working on a new idea. I am on fire! As time goes by, that fire may dim, but I can usually find a spark within myself whenever I think of a turn of phrase, or a clever word.

But if I get to a point, where there is nothing, I mean nothing at all that interests me about this manuscript, then I bury it. I do not bury the idea, because the idea had merit. (That is why I was so excited!) But I start questioning where I went wrong with the execution of that idea.

The second way is if I write the entire story, put it away for awhile, and then forget about it. I may come across the file and think, “Hey! I don’t recall writing this.” And when I read it, one of two things happens. Either I realize the reason I forgot this very forgettable manuscript or I think, “This has merit. I will revisit it.”

If my reaction is the former, I know this story will stay buried.

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