Milestones? Mushki?

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Today feels a milestone of sorts.  (If milestones are things one trips over rather than markers that stay decently to the side of the road.)

This is my post number 1801 on this blog.  (One thousand eight hundred and first.)

That is rather hard for me to believe.  (And, I’m afraid to say, the number makes me feel old rather than accomplished.)

Secondly, although I haven’t fully approved proofs of my upcoming novel, “Nice,” I’ve sent out the last versions, which if I’ve expressed my corrections properly, will be approvable.

So, now, ever trying to avoid all the things I really should be focusing on in my life–i.e. family responsibilities, job, house–I am thinking about my next writing project.  (Okay, okay–I do focus on family responsibilities!  Yes, I know, not as much as I should–  I’m trying, Mom–)

My plan is to work next on revising an old manuscript of a children’s novel.   I think the level is sometimes called “middle-grade”.

I am embarrassed to say that this particular novel was first written by me eleven or twelve years ago.  I then spent the next several years trying to make it more saleable–i.e. commercial–

Then, liking the book less and less (even though I also wrote a sequel), I just gave it up for some time–

But now, I want to resurrect the manuscript, revise it one last final full time, and publish it myself, because it is a sweet novel, about, essentially, a girl and her dog–

Here’s the big barrier–trying to figure out which of about twenty versions/drafts to use as the basis for the final version.  The earlier ones are more wordy, but possibly sweeter–those drafts are more like the old-fashioned children’s book (something written to be read aloud to children.)  (The book in that incarnation was called “Sally and Seemore and the Meaning of Mushki”.)

The later drafts are more spare and possibly seem more like books written by a professional children’s book writer.   The later ones may be more child-friendly in that they have fewer words and possibly more momentum.  (The later title was “Dogspell”.)

For years, I thought I was right to move in the direction of the later drafts–

And yet–

And yet–

And yet–

I was never happy with them; I felt I had whittled out something–a slower and more contemplative way of looking at the world–that I just kind of liked–

But I really do want to finish with this now.  And maybe the earlier ones are too wordy?   And should one ever go backward instead of forward?


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8 Comments on “Milestones? Mushki?”

  1. rebecca2000 Says:

    I think it is okay to go back. Often the best work comes from someone that walks away and comes back to it.

  2. b_young Says:

    Seems to me you have a problem of the better sort. Too much. You’ve probably already done this a dozen times, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s what I need to do more. Think of your audience. Picture the kids. What would Ethan want to hear? How about Rose?

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      That is very good advice–I don’t have much confidence that the book will be read, but I should think in those terms. I did read an early version to some children. Thanks for the very thoughtful confidence. k.

  3. hedgewitch Says:

    The first drafts of things are often the genetic code–the essence of what you want to say–changing styles is not usually but I suppose sometimes better. Still, imo, the change should please you, seem definitely preferable, or else, why change? I also agree with the poster right above me–considering who you are writing to and for can never hurt. I’m glad you’ve gotten the novel packed off, and are free to agonize over the next project, k. ;_)

  4. Czechpolia Says:

    Aha! Yes! All great work comes from constant and constant recreation. I’ve been working on the same screenplays for years, and every month they get closer to that level of awesome. Take the old stuff, mix it with the new stuff, keep plowing away, keep thinking, and months to come you will have something unique and awe-worthy! 😀

  5. janehewey Says:

    1801 is impressive, karin. i admire your dedication. Congratulations on completing the last version of your novel. Again, I admire your dedication to your work. I can understand the dilemma with your children’s novel, and wish you the best with your decision. As a fellow Gemini, I love the idea of TWO– which often makes it hard to choose. Have a marvelous weekend,k.

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