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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Writing Wednesday

I've been busy this week. I have been working on my manuscript, but as you can see by the graphic above, my computer is still sticking out it's tongue at me.
This is the first story that I have written an outline for. I've been referring to it and following it - a little.

But, since making my outline, I have. . .
changed the ages of my characters
changed the number of children some of the characters have
changed the names of some of the characters
and, after doing a little research on line I've decided to use a secret as a plot twist! If I do this, it will completely change the ending of my story.

What do you think? I think I am not very good at following outlines.

I've been reading A Girl from Yamhill, A Memoir by Beverly Cleary. I purchased this book at a yard sale over the weekend. While reading this I got an idea for a picture book for young children. So, I stopped writing my above manuscript, and scribbled down words to a picture book. It is a very simple manuscript but with a twist that makes it unique. At least, I hope that's what the publishers will think.

I know it  is time consuming, but...
I am always cruising the internet,
I am always reading articles when an idea comes to me out of the blue,
I am always finding articles that have information in them that pertains to something I am writing, or it shows me something I can do to make my story better.

On another topic, I actually got a post card from a publisher this week! I know, I know it is just a 'form postcard,' but now a days when you don't hear anything from publishers unless they actually want your manuscript, it was a nice thing to find in the mailbox. They thanked me for submitting my manuscript and it stated they will be back in touch with me as soon as they have reviewed my material, which may take several weeks. My translation - I think they finally retrieved my manuscript (which was sent to them about 2 1/2 months ago) out of the slush pile and are currently looking at it. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they like what they read.

Happy Writing!

posted by Janet Smart at


  1. Hi Janet, sounds like you are making great progress with your story! How nice to have received the postcard from the publisher, I know it must be comforting to know they have your manuscript. The waiting is always the hard part for me. My stories always change too. The outline always helps me, but I rarely stay with it because sometimes it seems like the story has a voice of it's own and wants to be written in it's own way!. I hope you have a lovely evening ahead. Delisa :)

  2. Janet,
    Congratualtions on the post card acknowledgement. I've done happy dances over these.

    As for your stories, sometimes they write themselves and other times they beg to be rewritten. Good luck.

  3. Congratulations on that postcard, Janet!! Fingers crossed for GREAT news to come your way. Excellent that you got a pb idea from reading Beverly Cleary's memoir. I just love her!

  4. I've found that my outlines need to be fluid, changing as I go. But they do help me to see ahead and be sure that all the threads of the story will come together the way they need to.

    Fingers crossed on hearing good news from the publisher ... Very exciting times!

  5. That's wonderful about the postcard! As someone who is a strict outliner and whose partner is character-oriented...I think of an outline as a road map (something a wise editor once said) You detour all you like as long as you eventually get to where you need to be!

  6. Janet this is so exciting!!! I am back into the computer again...have been away for a while and I enjoy your web. We moved to your beautiful state on the MD border.
    Want to look into the WV Conference. Will you be there? It looks like 5 hours away from me.

  7. Receiving the postcard sounds like a good thing!! Like you, I have trouble with following an outline. I usually just have a very vague type of outline--which can lead to a lot of backtracking, but it is just the way I write.

    Have you tried the snowflake method? It is as close to outlining as I do on a few of my projects. I think it is a great system--if I'd just stick to it!

  8. I'm so proud of you for writing!! I wish I could write a book-maybe someday.

  9. thanks everyone for your comments. Aileen, yes I do plan to attend the WVWriter's Conference. Hope to see you there.

  10. I agree with Pam. I only wish I were better at following outlines. I might end up with a tighter story.
    Who knows. Good luck, Janet, with both stories.
    Congrats on the post card. It's a good sign.
    Blessings, Barb

  11. Good news on the postcard Janet. It sounds like the real thing. We will all keep our fingers crossed for you. Take care! Susie


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