Sunday, October 22, 2017

short story: Awakening by Leanne Dyck (2 of 2)

Part one of Awakening link.

Part two: Will the manuscript ever be finished--and by who?

"Ocean cruise" by LDyck

Awakening (part 2)

The doorbell rang. A man in blue coveralls stood on my porch. "Excuse me for disturbing you." His embroidered name tag read Dan. "But I think you accidentally threw this out." Dan held my monster.

"I don't want that," I told him.

That was the last time I thought about my novel, until, years later, when I was flipping through the pages of Quill and Quire:  Canada's magazine for book news and reviews, and noticed, a glowing review for a new mystery--Murder Island by Dan Conner. "This intriguing mystery will soon be a movie starring--"

I'd read enough, I threw the magazine across the room...


I woke with a start. It was all a daydream. There was no Dan Conner. I still had my manuscript. I raced outside to the recycling bin to reclaim it.

Finally, I was able to look at my manuscript with fresh eyes. What did they like about my manuscript? Anything? I found positive comments and read those over slowly. All agreed that the beginning was captivating and the dialogue was strong. So they didn't think the whole thing was garbage, they just thought it required revision.

Ann wanted me to work on the middle. I searched the Internet and found an article on building suspense--like ending each chapter with a cliffhanger--and another article on "red herrings"--information designed to mislead the reader. John wanted me to work on my main character. I searched my bookshelves and learned that the main character needs to solve her own problems. If she doesn't, it's cheating. And in Suzanna's feedback, she'd circled a sentence in a tone that she suggested I maintain. I retyped that passage using 16 point text, printed the page, and posted it by my computer. That way it would be easy to refer to as I worked on revisions. My first readers had invested a lot of time and effort in helping me improve my manuscript, I emailed them my thanks.

Sure, I have a lot of work to do on my novel. But, instead of letting it overwhelm me, I'm focusing on how much I will learn. That's the thing about writing there's always something to learn. That's why I love my craft.

"Heading home" photo by LDyck

This concludes my short story Awakening. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Next week... Ah, next week. Each October I like to read a horror novel to get me in the mood for Halloween. This year I found The Only Child by Andrew Pyper. Next week it will be my pleasure to share my book review with you.

"Abby"  photo by LDyck

Next post:  Book review:  The Only Child by Andrew Pyper
Sunday, October 29th at approximately 5 PM