REVIVING AN OLD MANUSCRIPT
By Christine Liu-Perkins
At a recent retreat of the Nonfiction Ninjas, we shared our old manuscripts and asked for thumbs up or thumbs down. Does that manuscript have enough potential to work on it further? Or should we put it back in the drawer?
I’ve been working on one particular project on and off for eighteen years. There’s something about the core that I love and think kids will love, too. I’ve written fifteen different versions, ever searching for the right approach. Various versions have been critiqued by fellow writers and by editors at conferences. One editor liked it so much that she called and left a voicemail! (I was shocked.) In the end, however, she couldn’t take it on. (Oh, I was heartbroken.)
I put it away, but never completely forgot about it. Finally, this year I had a new idea for how to frame it. I took a research trip for inspiration. I searched online for new information. To my surprise, I found material on my computer that I’d collected but never used that led to a breakthrough! I wrote a new draft in April and finished a revision last week. I hope I’m on the right track at last . . . .
Looking for a fresh approach to your manuscript? Here are a few ideas for inspiration:
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