Sunday, February 7, 2010

To Expand or Not Expand, That Is the Question

Is your manuscript polished? Ready to shine before the world in all its glory? Check it again. I know! You’ve heard it before, but really, its perfect! Right? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Right now, Balefire and Moonstone is going through the extensive process of (you guessed it!) expansion. It sounds like it would be a ton of work, and really, who says that 57,000 words isn’t enough? But to be honest, this expansion is a lot of fun. No, really. I’m not just saying that to make myself feel better.

When you’re expanding your manuscript, you already know your world. You know what has happened, and you know your babies. What you don’t know is what scenes to expand, right? Well, maybe you do. Was there a section that you felt needed more padding? More detail that you didn’t add before?

With our expansion, we began with the goal to expand Moonstone up another 10,000 to 20,000 words. We’d already talked about what was needed. What we wanted to do. So we started there. It was like revisiting an old friend that you’re giving a makeover to.

Then what happened was this: new scenes came to mind. And they work wonderfully in with what we’ve already written. Thus far, we’ve achieved our partial goal, reaching 66,000 words total for Moonstone. But we have more to write before its expansion is done. No biggie. We know what we’re going to do. Where we’re going. We just needed the push to do it.

Here are a few things to remember when you are thinking about expanding your existing manuscript:

1) Were there any scenes that you had questions about before, or that your readers had questions about, that need further information for clarification?
2) What’s your current word count? Would an expansion be beneficial?
3) What reasons do you have for wanting to expand your work? Is it a requirement for your agent? Do you feel like its unfinished without these final words?
4) And finally, what do you want to accomplish? What’s your roadmap going to look like when its finished?
5) Do you know where you’re going?



No comments:

Post a Comment