What Happens After "The End?"

After that glorious moment of sending off a completed manuscript to the publisher, I rejoice, a little nervously, as I await edits. It truly is a time worth celebrating and appreciating. Reaching The End of a ~77,000 word novel is not for the faint-hearted. It’s like building a skyscraper with only seven tools on hand: imagination, heart, experience, emotions, research, perseverance, and either a computer or a pen and paper. Perseverance is paramount. After all, how will you reach The End if you give up?

You’re done. What’s next?

How about taking a few days off to kick back, recharge, and regenerate those weary brain cells? Take as long as you like! That is, until your edits come in. Sometimes, finding ways to distract oneself, that sort of relate to writing, helps massage the brain cells, preparing them for the next round. Diving into that ten-story high To Be Read pile that’s about to topple over can be rewarding. I love reading books in the genre I write, and in other genres, as well as nonfiction. Inspiring books make my mind soar; and I truly appreciate those reads that make me think or see another side to something. But what’s my favorite distraction? Writing!

A short story might pop out during my down time. Writing short keeps me sharp. Telling a story in 5000 words or less means every extra word’s gotta go. A children’s story is a wonderful challenge because it’s  not only short (under 1000 words), but has to have that special readability factor that makes it engaging enough for youngsters and their adults to want to read over and over again. That’s an ambitious, yet marvelous feat.

But I mustn’t forget one last challenging item that remains: creating the descriptive blurb for the back cover. Did you know that writers come up with that? At least this one does.  Condensing what a whole book is about into less than 200 words? Impossible! That’s what I say every time, until I write it up. Just like the novel.



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1 year ago

I love your children’s book ( the cookie eating fire dog ). It makes a great birthday or Christmas gift. My friends’ young children love this book!

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