Thursday, May 5, 2011

Time Capsules aka Old Manuscripts

My crit partner, Ansha, was weeding out her hard drive the other day. She found a file called "Knight.Asselin.doc" dated May 7, 2008. It was a critique she had done for my short story, THE KNIGHT IN TAN KHAKIS, approximately 2300 words.

The weird thing is, Ansha and I didn't become crit partners until after the NESCBWI conference in 2009. We'd met the year before, but I have no recollection of her critting my short story.

That particular story ended up being published in Golfer Girl Magazine in the fall of 2008. As I spent the summer of 2008 revising the short story, I started think it might be a novel. Just thinking.

72,000 words, three years, and who knows how many drafts later, it IS a novel. With an agent.

When I opened the document, it was like a flash back in time. Lots of telling, no showing. Not enough dialogue. But the characters were there, just waiting for me to write their story.

I've learned about writing in those three years. I've made some wonderful friends. I've published some nonfiction. I have been paid to write. I am an author.


I wonder what the next three years will hold? Thanks, Ansha!! ::hugs::

What do you seen when you read an old manuscript?


Laura Pauling said...

I think it totally depends on the story! Some just have longer chapters with multiple scenes. And others have really short scenes. It's almost an art.

A scene should have a beginning, middle, and end, but I'm not sure about chapters. It might be better to break off at the moment that produces the most tension - I don't think that means the main conflict of the scene b/c that would get frustrating - but after some new element that introduces conflict. Another element of writing that isn't always easy.

Marisa Hopkins said...

What an awesome story to share! I love digging out my stories from years ago - always nice to see my hard work is paying off because WOW, those early drafts... they're little little babies that aren't even close to growing up :)

How funny that she had critiqued your story and you didn't even realize!

Kristine Asselin said...

Laura--I know, it's amazing that we didn't know what we didn't know. And now we know more.

Marisa--thanks! I thought it was pretty cool myself. And kind of weird that I hadn't remembered. :)

Ansha said...

I love the whole time capsule aspect of looking at old writing. It's like a snapshot not only of your writing skill but of where you were emotionally and creatively. Just plain cool. :)

Julie Musil said...

Oh, that must have been so fun. Yes, you've come a long way in these short years, and the sky's the limit for the next three.

Ashley Nixon said...

Oh my. My first Trilogy was written when I was in 8th grade. Going back to read it, I laugh at myself. My Junior English teacher loved it, but when I read it, I don't understand. I know now she saw potential...and whether your willing to develop that or not will determine your strength as a writer.

Kristine Asselin said...

Ansha -- totally cool!

Julie -- Thanks so much--I can't quite believe it sometimes.

Ashley -- oh that must have been fun. I love to read my poetry from high school. It makes me laugh so hard! And I was very serious.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Such a cool story, Kristine! Just goes to show you just never know where your writing will lead you. Hopefully soon, it'll lead you to a published novel ;)

Kristine Asselin said...

Thanks Carol. Me too. :) It's just fun sometimes to remember where you've come from, right? Puts it in perspective.

Anna Staniszewski said...

It really is like a time capsule, isn't it? That's why we should never throw things away, no matter how bad we think they are! :-)