I thought we’d do something just for giggles. A little game of WHAT IF.
What if the Apocalypse was at hand? Take your pick–poles shifting, solar flares, zombies…the point is, you have exactly 5 minutes to get out of your house and to safety. The kids, spouse, pets…all the other things you care about are taken care of. This 5 minutes is for saving one of your manuscripts.
Yes, you heard me…just ONE. No flashy thumb drive or laptop for you!
Okay, so this is a little like Sophie’s Choice. But there’s a point to it beyond causing heart palpitations, I promise. I want you to really think hard on what MS you would save if you had to choose. Which novel or story is closest to your heart and why?
For me, it isn’t a book that I’m currently shopping with my agent or even working on right now. It’s a book I wrote a long time ago–my first real novel. A YA fantasy called Orb Master.
Now this baby is riddled with cliches and purple prose, I kid you not. It is one scary-looking novel and is appropriately hiding on my hard drive somewhere. But still I would save it, and why? Because there is also something very special about it. It brims with imagination, largely because I wrote it before understanding a lick about ‘good writing’. So in other words, the internal editor didn’t hold sway over this one and someday I’d really like to dig it out again and see if it can be saved. There is power to the story of it…bad writing maybe, but power.
I’m pretty sure I could rewrite most of my books if I had to. But Orb Master…I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to risk losing it, and the magic with it.
So what would you save–a polished, publishable draft? An old picture book you wrote more for yourself or your family than the market? Maybe a book where you experimented with the POV, chose a risky topic or character? Please tell me about it!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.