The Perfect Manuscript in One Draft

Imagine if we could write the perfect manuscript in one draft. How brilliant would that be? Of course, I’m dreaming here as very few writers would be able to do this with any amount of success. I feel it would be impossible to write 100,000 words and not make one single error of any kind. In fact, I think it would be impossible to write any manuscript of any length without a typo or some kind of grammar problem or a sentence that isn’t all it should be.

In reality, in order to get a manuscript anywhere near perfect a writer must not only write the manuscript but they must also subject themselves to rewriting and editing that work numerous times. Some people can get away with only a few edits, but most will have to plough through the same words over and over and over and …

I’m not keen on edits. I find them hard and frustrating because it means I have to iron out all those problem areas I was never quite confident about in the first place. Come to think of it, I don’t like ironing either. No wonder I’m finding the edit of Mirror Image so hard…and draining.

The first draft has huge holes in it. I suppose I should be thankful that I’m aware of this. There are a few problems:

Firstly, the main character’s storyline falls flat right at the most critical time – the climax, of all places. At the moment, the scene could be compared to a plateau when it should be a steep mountain. I’m still working on the arc I mentioned a week or so ago, so when I get around to rewriting this scene it will be much improved.

Secondly, another primary character’s storyline falls to pieces in the middle. Each storyline was planned, but this one kept going off in other directions until eventually even I became confused. In the end I stopped writing and moved to a spot in the storyline that got the character back on track and continued from there. This means, I have an enormous section of mess to fix…once I work out what went wrong!

Thirdly, the three minor character’s resolutions have to be played out in the climax, which is from the main character’s point of view. Once I reach the climax I cannot go back to these other character’s points of view. It would ruin the suspense and flow. However, these resolutions are important as they round the characters out and they are also important to the overall message of the book. The real problem is that the main character is in such a state by this stage, that in reality she wouldn’t be taking in what’s happening around her. So I have to provide quick snippets of information that provide the information needed to complete the minor character’s storylines without interrupting the flow of the climax, which should be quite intense and emotional.

The above is three major problems, which I’m finding hard to deal with. I haven’t come to a complete stand still, but I’m hovering close to it and that worries me. I’m tempted to put the manuscript aside and work on something else for a short time – give myself a break – but I know that if I do this I’ll never return to Mirror Image. I don’t want that to happen, so I’ll continue to struggle forward…even if it means I’m taking the smallest steps you could ever imagine.

Please excuse me while I day dream about how brilliant it would be to write the perfect manuscript in one draft.

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