Posted by: jeannineatkins | March 25, 2008

Fattening up a Manuscript

In my research about ancient Sumer (um, for those who are still with me) a story keeps coming back to me that seems to have little to do with my plot. Sometimes these nagging, perhaps extraneous stories get tucked in crowded drawers of cast-offs. Once in while, I pull them out and find them a new place. But this story has tagged along through a few drafts, though I keep swatting it back to my notes file, where there’s a hodgepodge of details that might creep in, some perhaps-dialog, and a few other things. I know if I want to use this little story, small enough to fit in a few lines, it’s got to mean something, and I think it’s nudging is telling me it can swell into the theme.

I can’t slip in a story just because I think it’s cool. I have to let it nudge against the plot, and maybe turn things a new way, wilder and bigger than I’d planned. It’s scary to give into the nudging. This thing keeps growing! Like setting a new color in a quilt, I might have to expand the whole, add other colors to balance. It’s more work. But the hope is for a brighter, better, bigger quilt or book.

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Responses

  1. Re: Elbow
    Tracie, thanks for the kind words and funny heading. Yes, elbows are underrated part of the anatomy! Hope as you settle in you are finding more writing time.

  2. I’ve been thinking about this. Wondering about another revision of the book I’m querying about, just since I’m getting lots of postives, but no Oh, yeah! yet. Whatever I had or change cannot just be stuck in, has to help the story, character arc, whatever.
    My guess is that someday, your story is going to just shout, “Here! Right here!” and then you’ll see the connection. Good luck.


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