Our Dear Manuscript, R.I.P

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Follow Friday for a new special feature. Our dear friend, Bret Ballou, will be writing a regular post with us every other Friday beginning today! Bret will bring his own slant and style to our weekly "themes" and we are delighted to have him here.

Beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of Our Dear Manuscript who is finally resting peacefully in the drawer.

When Our Dear Manuscript was young, passion and love nourished it. We lavished it with dreams and hopes. It flourished with wonderful tension, endearing characters, and a unique hook. Time with Our Dear Manuscript was perfect and limitless.

But as the days and weeks wore on to months and years, we grew disturbed. Sickness blossomed in Our Dear Manuscript. Flat characters, confusing plot-lines, and clichés riddled it’s poor ending. A weak second Act plagued it. And we need not mention it’s first pages in the presence of children.

At some moment, after the 9th revision, we lost heart and faith. Our Dear Manuscript turned twisted and ugly. We knew not what to do. Despair. Pain. Angst. Alas, it became easier to let Our Dear Manuscript go than continue to reach for a miracle. And, so, Our Dear Manuscript went into the drawer.

But do not mourn too deep for we are gathered here in celebration. We learned so much from Our Dear Manuscript – like how to pace a father-son debate or form a strong hook. We now know the signs of the weak-act-two plague and will be cautious of clichés. And rejoice! for Our Dear Manuscript’s great lines, interesting characters, and entire scenes live on in our minds, waiting for their second chance.

So, Beloved, in reality Our Dear Manuscript is not in gone, but from the drawer it will rise – not in the embodiment which it is now, but with the face of brilliance. This new face will have characters fully developed, hooks unwavering, and many new breathtaking lines. It will be our finest work…

It will be Our New Manuscript.

Can I get an AMEN?


Amen, brother...Amen...
Come on...someone had to do it!

So true. I have resurrected/mined so much from my drawer novels.

Welcome, Bret! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Reading everyone's take on the drawer full of manuscripts is inspiring. Thanks, all.

Well put. Have you considered public speaking?

I'm looking forward to the day I can finish a manuscript ... even a sickly one.

AMEN! Can I hear a Hallelujah?? Who else would like to testify? (Sorry, my Southern Baptist raisin' comes through sometimes)

Everyone, thanks for the AMENs (and Hallelujahs) and welcomes. Keep 'em coming...But most of all, keep faith that stuff in the drawer is not lost!

Great post. So true. Recognizing a manuscript is not going where it needs to is a great breakthrough-- whether you banish it to a drawer for life or just until you have fresh perspective.

Amen, brother, Bret. Amen. And pass the ceremonial wine, because we should be toasting our drawer books even as we pick over their bones.

Amen, Bret! Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of drafting, I will fear no rejection: for thou art with me. Thy voice and thy humor, they comfort me.

Thanks for all the AMENs, friends!

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