What do you think about on your birthday? What did I accomplish in the past year? Did I fulfill any writing goals?
I thought I'd finished my first novel manuscript, after working on it for nine years, and I was pleased to have a second manuscript half finished. After attending the ACFW annual conference, I learned that the writing rules have changed in those intervening years and it's back to the computer for rewriting.
Nine years ago Writers Digest recommended 60,000 words as the ideal novel size because of paper and printing costs. Now I find many publishers want much longer manuscripts.
Nine years ago Writers Digest taught me not to leave anything out. That's cheating they said. Now we are encouraged to jump cut and leave out the boring transitions. Leave description to a minimum. (Weave it into the story.)
To add words, I thought I'd need another subplot. I brain stormed with other writers at the conference on what that subplot might be. Then I took another look at my synopsis and I have a lot going on already. I need to expand the existing plot and subplots.
I've added scenes and that helps the word count rise, but I'm also deleting redundancies.
My goal for this next year: Revise this manuscript and make it acceptable. My mantra: Follow your dreams . . . and never, never, never give up.