Monday, 28 September 2015

The bottom drawer theory

Mr Schulz, I love your little cartoon, but I can't just let it sit here without some explanation.

As writers we all experience this at some point in our lives.  We think our just-completed manuscripts are so damn good (we either think that, or we think they are just awful).  That is why the bottom drawer theory is such a good idea.  When you have typed The End or Manuscript Ends on the last page, don't immediately start typing up letters to agents, or composing queries to publishers in your head.  Put the manuscript away, preferably for quite some time. (This is easy to say, I know, but very difficult to do. I, myself, have never completely managed it.)  Put it away and do something else. Start a new story, if you like. Write some short stories. Read that new release you've been busting to get to.  Go walk in the park. Anything.  But do not go near your manuscript. 

After sufficient time has elapsed - like a month or two - open it up and read it again. You'll be surprised at what you find! 

(Mostly, the writers who thought their manuscripts were so damn good will be cringing and saying, Seriously, did I write this garbage?! While the ones who thought their work was just awful will be saying, Hmn, this is not too bad. There are some moments of brilliance here.)  

1 comment:

  1. Hello there, you posted a reply to a blog of mine on Tumblr and I CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO REPLY TO YOUR REPLY! I'm sorry about that. Why is it so confusing? Anyway, I don't want you to think I'm just ignoring you, and I don't want to quit, so I'm replying to you HERE. I hope that's okay. Sure, I'm happy for you to repost my blog... (And if you can tell me how to reply to a reply on Tumblr I would be VERY, VERY happy and grateful.) Sorry about all the all-caps in this comment. best wishes and have a great day, Jaclyn