As I engaged with other online users I came to realise that my finished manuscript was not the final manuscript. I had already redrafted it once back in November when I had entered the Times unknown author competition.
The rules for entry stated your story should not total more than 90,000 words. My first draft consisted of 112,000 words. I had spent a frantic fortnight making cuts were I could, and had reduced it down to 98,000. I still entered the competition even with 8,000 more words, hoping the judges wouldn’t notice. As you had to send in your entry by hard copy I posted off the manuscript printed neatly on white A4 paper. My hope was they would not go through the whole story counting every word.
What I did notice as I kept re-reading the story was that the more I cut down the words, the better it seemed to become.
When you first wright a story it’s best to just let the words flow. You may end up with chapters that make no sense, but it’s easier to cut these out than it is to find you need add another 14,000 words after you have finished.
Createspace were running a competition of their own for unpublished authors so I decided to enter this too, and now started on my third redraft of my manuscript.
As time progressed I would make further redrafts.
You need to be prepared to admit that the masterpiece you first wrote may not be a so great a story as you have convinced yourself it is.
You need to be open to suggestions, and to listen and learn. To take other people’s views into account and learn about the target audience you are ultimately writing for.
Br prepared to redraft, then redraft again, and redraft as many times as it takes until you have a winning story.
If you have sent in your manuscript to agents and publishers, and all you got were rejections, then look at it again, and redraft the story. Don’t lose hope, don’t give up, and be prepared to say to yourself that your fist draft was not the best in the world.
Keep on improving.
Every manuscript (including yours) has the potential to turn into a great story.