Thursday, August 23, 2012
Discovery of an old manuscript by janet lane walters
Several months ago, I was sorting out my old files and I discovered the carbon copy of a manuscript that took me back about 30 plus years. I remember fondly the wonderful letter I recieved from the editor of a publisher and the down side that the publisher had decided to stop publishing fiction and going only to non-fiction. When the manuscript came back with the box torn and some of the pages missing, I decided to forget that story. The good copy was tossed and I forgot there was a carbon available.
So with the discovery I decided to look the mss over and see what about it had made the editor think the story was good. What I found was there was indeed a story and some interesting characters but the writing needed some help. Some of the problems were caused by styles of the past, like instead of John said using said John. Funny how this leaped out at me. Other things were just stylistic things caused by the author. Halting the story to put in a long passage of back story that I realized was where the story began. Or putting in long blocks of setting without having the characters experience the scenery through the senses.
The story is about a group of young people who leave a contained community to go out into the world and see if the world has recovered from ecological and the haves versus the non-haves. They also take the villain with them. There will have to be some changes in the plot, but this is a YA story of growth and change that I'll be working in slowly but surely. It's going to be a journey of discovery and I'll have a chance to see what the editor saw in this story that inspired him to write a long letter of encouragement.