The Difficulty Every Writer Faces When a Project Switches Gears.
You have invested hours, weeks, months, or sometimes years of hard labor into that next best-seller. Research, late nights, early mornings and trips to the local library just to make sure every morsel of information is absolutely correct. Coffee or tea by the gallons, bad diet of missed meals and junk food on the go. Only to find out your hard work and diligent efforts must be retired – for whatever reasons, you feel your masterpiece has been forsaken.
Do not lose hope. Transforming words into a story is what you do. When you began the project, you had a vision. Do not lose sight of the end goal – publishing your work. Altering and revising the direction of your assignment may in fact enhance your project and may prove to be more profitable.
I invested months in a manuscript. Everything was going better than planned. I had been in contact with a publisher (actually several contacted me), and they wanted my manuscript in progress, based solely on an idea and my being in the right place at the right time. A friend from college was going to edit my manuscript, she is an excellent editor and she wanted to use the opportunity to get her foot in the publishing door. I lined up a highly recommended agent out of New York, he had a great history of publishing accomplished authors – he helped publish some of the most famous best-sellers, and he was excited once he learned about my venture.
Then suddenly, I hit an enormous snag. You see, I was writing a nonfiction full-length book on a family tragedy and not just anybody’s family misfortune, but my family. My project met with hostility and resistance.
The nature of my manuscript was true-crime nonfiction based on an open murder case, which was changing the statues of law. Because of this case, legislation was passed, which would forever alter the complexion of murder cases.
When I began poking around a little too close for comfort, people connected to the case shut me down. Here I was, only months, or weeks from finishing my manuscript facing a problem: do I continue down this path and place my immediate family in danger, create a rift in the family, and lose credibility by publishing the 80% of research I had completed and not much more? On the other hand, would it be more worthwhile to take my work in another direction?
After several days of reflecting over the situation, riding the pendulum of self-doubt and choking on the bitter pill of disappointment, I decided, I would finish my manuscript. After all, I put way too much work into my prized possession to set it on a shelf and let it collect dust.
I needed an angle. For my manuscript to succeed, I would have to change direction. My true-crime nonfiction manuscript would become a crime novel. I would change people’s names, places, times, and rearrange the details. Boom! Just like that, my manuscript was back on the front burner. When I proposed the idea to my agent and the publisher, they fell in love with it. Now my book will not be limited to one genre, it will aspire to readers of fiction, crime, drama, law, etc.
My manuscript has been saved! Save your manuscript! Make alterations, be open to the possibilities. When an author creates, it is like a magical universe, readers wish to enter your magical universe.
I am Dane Ladwig and this has been a… View From My Loft!