Is it time to start the manuscript from scratch?

It has been several months since I haven’t posted a blog post. And today was the day that I decided I would not go to bed until I finally did it. Work and travel are the excuses in general – and I won’t go to discuss them more since I want to jump into blogging pools as soon as possible without lamenting why I didn’t blog these months.

My manuscript continues to be a manuscript. However, it seems it was for the best. After going through multiple reviews and editing rounds, I decided it needs a complete makeover. The story is nice, the theme topic is interesting, but it is not the book that I think it could be. I’ve struggled so much to keep the same characters and to bring to life all situations in the book, but I reached a point where I need to acknowledge that my characters might not strong enough, neither interesting enough and some situations feel awkward and forced into the plot. Maybe leaving the manuscript to rest for a long time was a good idea after all.

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At this point, I’m not completely sure how to target this. Should I work on revamping the book, adjusting situations, and changing the characters over the existing framework, or just start from scratch?

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Starting from scratch sounds good, but if I were to start a new complete book, then why insist on this “theme topic”? I have a couple of other better theme topics to explore. However, I cannot simply give up almost two years invested on this manuscript. Somehow, deep inside, I still want to rescue it and rescue all the time invested in it.

I guess I relate to this:

Have you experienced something similar? Any Advice?

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5 thoughts on “Is it time to start the manuscript from scratch?

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  2. Yes, Carl, I just went through pretty much the same thing and, after making my decision on what to do, am struggling a little. Nevertheless, I do feel I have made the right choice.

    Question: Is the theme strong enough to make two or more books out of it?
    If so, maybe your ‘start from scratch’ idea could be the second book or be the first one while your manuscript is the second one once you fix the problems. Either way, you could let it sit a while longer.

    Another question: Have you had a critique group go over your manuscript? There are a few online ones that are free. It could be you just need another pair or two of eyes to help you deal with the problems in it.

    Whatever you decide, please do not throw the manuscript away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Glynis, thanks so much for helping me with this. Actually question number one just gave me an idea (which is about the possibility of making a second book since the topic could certainly be more explored) 🙂

      Regarding question two, I had around four people reading it. Only one of them was really thorough with his critique and there was useful advice that I’ve incorporated already in the script. However, I still have this feeling inside me that the story plot and the characters, in general, could be so much better that I’m willing to review it again and rebuild it if necessary.

      What I’m doing right now is reviewing the manuscript again but being totally critical of it. This time I’m not trying to fix the wording or fix in general what is already in there. This time, I’m taking side notes of what works, what doesn’t and what could be improved. I hope that by the time I finish this review I’ll have a clearer picture on how to approach the “rebuilding” of the story.

      Thanks so much for this advice!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I started my first comment spelling your name wrong. I am so sorry. How could I just disregard the ‘a’? Please fix that, okay?

        Writing.Com [http://writing.com/] has forums for many of the genres. The members are always happy to give out pointers to work submitted. Some will even do it privately through their email inbox at the site. It does not take any money to join either, although the site does have an upgraded package that costs. Of course, I do not have the money for that but they have put up with me for four years anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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