Monday Microscope: Shaping your story

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Question: As a debut author I am stuck and not sure how to point this out simply!

I have content written from 2008 till recent times. Things have changed because the world has changed. My content needs to be restructured, pruned, and the chronology also needs to be shifted.

Second point about the brief idea behind my writing is very sorted finally and I am ok there. However this means I first sort out the above mentioned point, come to a sorted stage, re fashion my content, prune it , fill in the gaps, and so on…its beginning to feel like a lot has to be done, and I do not feel like doing this alone ! – Naimesh

Dear Naimesh,

Appreciate your honesty and understand your confusion.

At such stages, what you need is a mentor or more of a writing guide. Someone who will work with you at your pace and guide you on what needs to done regarding  your manuscript.

It is advisable you list down what is the core idea behind this manuscript and also what is the kind of help you are looking at from your mentor. This helps in deciding whether that mentor is the right choice for this particular project. Your requirements need to match the mentor’s offerings to a large extent.

Many times, authors take years to complete one manuscript. It is an acceptable form of practice however, as you rightly mentioned, there is always a risk that a lot of it might have become redundant or outdated. It needs to be carefully weeded out and the relevant material needs to be sharpened to an extent that is becomes presentable for a reader.

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While working on a manuscript for years, one also needs to consider the change in the language that is prevalent in the literary circles. Apart from the inconsequential scenes and narrative, there might be some changes that will be needed in the language to make it up to date. With the on surge of Social Media, there might be some technicalities which might need to be added if the story is based in current times. If it is non fiction, then the changes only need to be limited to the core message conveyed apart from language as the world today is far more ahead and progressive compared to say a decade ago.

While choosing to work with an mentor or a writing guide, chose someone whose ultimate goal  matches yours. It is important you both are on the same page when it comes to deciding what is the final shape this book will take.  The overall theme and message of the story should be pre-decided and the narrative should compliment it to make it a thoroughly engaging read.

Also, one need not be an editor or a beta reader for your book to be completed because the current goal should be completion of the manuscript. Editing, beta reading and other such aspects can always be looked into later on, when one has the first draft ready on hand.

And most importantly remember, the writing plan adopted has to be unique to match your requirements and your pace as a writer. There is no one plan that fits all aspiring writers.

To know more about our mentorship programs and avail a free consultation, do drop in an email to us.




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