In fifth grade, my daughter participated in a Shakespeare play. A Midsummer’s Night Dream. She played the role of Puck (or duck or Chuck, something like that). So instead of getting to wear the cool costumes for a girl, she was a man and a donkey. Not very glorious. Not every girl’s dream.
But it turned out to be a terrific role, the humorous role, the fun role.
She spoke loud and clear and the audience could actually here her. (Sometimes kids mumble on stage. Okay, most kids mumble on stage.) Younger kids wanted her autograph later. She was a star.
It’s now a couple years later and we both agreed that no one will ever forget the famous scene. The one where she stabs herself over and over again, yelling out, “Die, die, die!” She acted dead for a few seconds. Then burst out with one more. “Die!”
And yep, that’s what I’m doing right now with my manuscript. Not to all of it. But to the parts that recently showed themselves as fools gold, gimmicks, and trickery.
Scenes I thought were crucial – gone.
Scenes I loved – deleted.
Scenes I told myself would never go – collecting dust in a cyber folder.
In so many ways my manuscript is changing, scenes rearranged and rewritten and restructured.
Yet, the core of my story is still the same.
And this manuscript was done! (Or so I thought.)
But I received some terrific feedback. And I thought about the reader. What will the reader want? What will keep him/her turning the pages? I stopped thinking about myself.
And I pulled out the largest pair of scissors I have and practiced my evilest cackle in the small mirror in our tiny downstairs bathroom.
Mwa ha ha ha!