Monday, February 25, 2013

From Seed to Sprout, Part 4 by Sharlene MacLaren



Sharlene MacLaren
Happy Monday, everyone! Annette here. Today, Sharlene MacLaren has returned with the final installment of her writer's journey series. She's even brought along a poem. Two of her lines remind me of a child's comment lately that her teacher calls rough drafts "sloppy copies." Fitting, isn't it? Read on!


From Seed to Sprout, Part 4*
by Sharlene MacLaren


10. EDITING – SCHMEDITING
For many, editing is their least favorite aspect of writing. I’m probably the weirdo in the bunch because it’s one of my favorites. I love the rereading, revamping, revising, reviewing, reconstructing, rewriting, re-, re-, re-, but perhaps the hardest “re-” of all for me is relinquishing. No writer ever feels quite “done”, but there comes a time to move on to your next project. In fact, a couple of years ago, I penned a poem on this very topic, and here it is:

Inside This Writer’s Head…

The second draft, oh what a blast!
The editing is here at last!
Crossing ‘t’s, dotting ‘i’s,
Reread, rewrite, rethink, revise.


The road to “Finish” takes awhile,
Research, outlines, setting, style,
Files full of worthless news,
Stuff I’ll never even use!


All this for that first, sweet copy,
Who cares if it’s a wee bit sloppy?
Because—guess what— no need to whine,
The editing will make it shine!


Some writers really hate this phase,
Fine-tune, tighten, trim, rephrase.
But me? I find it sheer delight
It means the end is within sight.


I approach it with an eye for fun,
Remembering it’s almost done.
And, then, I’ll finally stop my stewing.
But wait! Another story’s brewing!


11. LEARN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY.
Everybody’s looking for a shortcut. When you’re traveling from one place to another you want to know the shortest route, but sometimes taking the shortest route can lead you into unfamiliar territory—which can also lead to roadblocks—which ultimately slow the process even more. It’s best to know where you’re heading and how best to get there, even if it takes a little longer. This will mean researching the market, learning who publishes the genre you write, and what types of stories they’re looking to publish. Don’t send your work of fiction to a house that only publishes Bible studies. Read their requirements for submission then follow them. You’ll find them on their websites. If I could recommend just one book on this very topic, it would be The Christian Writers’ Market Guide. Here is a resource book that will teach you everything you ever needed or wanted to know about how the publishing industry works.

12. TAKE A DEEP BREATH – PRAY – SUBMIT – WAIT PATIENTLY.
So, you've completed your first novel—or maybe even your second and third! And you’ve gained enough confidence to start submitting your work to an agent or directly to a publisher. (Again, know the publisher you want to submit to and note their requirements pertaining to solicited and unsolicited materials. Many houses will not accept your manuscript without an agent’s recommendation.)

Remember that seed we talked about nurturing? God planted it, but it’s your job to bring it to fruition. If you never water, feed, or care for it, it will wither away and never amount to anything. Care for that gift of passion god planted in your heart – and then watch it grow!

***Thank you for coming with me on this writer's journey. Enjoy your journey, and make it count for God's glory and honor!***

*This series originally appeared on Sharlene MacLaren's blog in October, 2012. Used by Permission.

~~~
Sophia's Secret

Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University. She traveled married one of her childhood friends and together they raised two lovely daughters. Now happily retired after teaching elementary school for 31 years, "Shar" enjoys reading, writing, singing in the church choir and worship teams, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and precious grandson. Shar is a regular speaker for her local MOPS organization, is involved in KIDS' HOPE USA, a mentoring program for at–risk children, counsels young women in the Apples of Gold program, and is active in two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with their lovable collie, Dakota, and Mocha, their lazy fat cat.


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3 comments:

  1. Awesome series, Shar! Always need the reminder to wait "patiently" and I love the poem! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  2. As a gardener, I know growing something can sometimes be a real struggle, but can be so worthwhile in the end. Good series!

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  3. Thanks so very much, Dora and Sandra! It has been my pleasure to appear in Seriously Write this month!

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