Mindy Alyse Weiss (mindyalyse) wrote,
Mindy Alyse Weiss

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Beginnings are hard to master!

I'm playing the revision tango with the beginning of my middle-grade novel, My Sister is NOT Human.  I love the voice, but thanks to the help of my awesome critique groups, realized that I started in the wrong place.  I'm making some great progress on it, but have a feeling it will take a lot of playing around to nail it.  That's okay--I'm learning so much more about my characters and story.  I need to make the promise clear from the beginning, and now that I've revised a hundred times, the main character's age was cut from the opening pages.  Once I think I'm really close, I'll do my best to work it back in.  The opening scene is much more intense now, so I've lost a lot of the humor I had.  Since most of the novel is humorous, I want to find a way to work a bit of it back in.  I had the same issue with the beginning of Mom Wars, since it starts during a fight...and that's when I discovered that my character's coping device was throwing invisible food at her mom.  I wonder how I'll solve the issue with this novel!  I've also realized that I probably have to cut at least some of my subplots.  I already know one that's history.  Watch out other subplots...you might be next!

One of the scariest things for me was leaving behind a manuscript filled with characters I knew so well, and diving into this new one with a bunch of strangers.  I know them much better now...but still have a long way to go before I know them well enough to do their story justice!  Right now, I'm working on getting the bones and heart of my story in good shape...I'll have plenty of time to dig deeper and polish to perfection later.  Knowing that really freed me up to play around to see what works, and what I need to cut.  

What helps you whip a manuscript into shape during the first round of revisions?

If you live near Boca Raton, I hope I'll see you at a FREE FL SCBWI workshop this Sunday, June 12th from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.  Click here
for details! 

There's still time to sign up for the amazing Orlando Workshop on June 25.  I believe there may be a few openings in the Novel Intensive and Illustrators' Intensive (one of the leaders is an art director at Simon and Schuster)!  Click here for more info.    

I'm wishing From the Mixed-Up Files...of Middle Grade Authors a happy first anniversary!  Wow, I can't believe our blog just started a year ago.  We've had so many interviews, book lists, and giveaways since then.  Speaking of giveaways--there's a wonderful one going on to celebrate our anniversary.  Hop on over to the website and leave a comment for a chance to win these great books by E.L. Konigsburg: The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, The View from Saturday, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

The rest are items to keep you busy if, like Claudia and her younger brother Jamie in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, you decide to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Here's a photo of all the fun goodies you can win!  Good luck. :)

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Tags: from the mixed-up files, revision, scbwi, workshop
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