Beauty and the (Manuscript) Beast

In 2011, I wrote an urban fantasy. I had an idea of an edgy, dark story with influences from Irish mythology and modern-day crime dramas. This was a huge change from the medieval, high fantasy YA stuff I had written before. I loved the characters and my story, and decided to write it during NaNoWriMo.

The month started well, but I stalled in the middle. (The familiar second-week woes stretched almost into week four that year.) I wrote over half the draft in the last three or four days, including 10,000 words on the final day. The result was a manuscript that was as battered and incongruous as any fairy tale beast.

What can save such a wretched creation? Much like that tale as old as time, I’ve discovered that love is truly transformative. Finding my passion for this story–the parts of it that made me want to write it in the first place–gives me the courage to make the sort of sweeping changes it needs right now.

The cuts and rewrites ahead of me will not be easy. I know that revising this monstrously wrecked manuscript will force me to dig deep, and put a bit of my heart and soul on the page. I also believe it will absolutely be worth it, and that the true beauty of my story will be revealed after I give it my tough love.

I’m heading back to revision. I’d love to hear your revision fairy tales or horror stories in the comments!

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