By Cait Collins
I’ve been reviewing some of my under-the-bed and box-in the-closet manuscripts. I thought I had written some really great stories. But when I compare these earlier offerings with my more recent works, I realize how much better the new stories are. Over the years I’ve learned more about characterization, plots and turning points, and dialogue. With new tools, I do a better job of crafting a story.
I’ve also learned that honest criticism is not a bad thing. I can trust my friends with WordsmithSix to be honest in their critiques. I can listen to their ideas and thoughts but still feel comfortable in choosing what to incorporate in my story and what to discard or hold for future use. They encourage me to be just me.
While I see major improvement in my writing, I am well aware I’m not where I want to be and could be. I have to keep looking for better ways to say things, practice getting into my characters’ heads and figuring out how they will respond to the milestones of life. More importantly, I cannot base my characters actions on how I see things or how I would handle the situation. I must step outside the box and allow the character to map his or her future without my interference.
So what am I going to do with those old manuscripts? I’m keeping them. Some of the stories have good bones. They just need a little reshaping and restructuring. And maybe the passing years have allowed some good characters to grow up and provide a new perspective on an old plot.