Why Every Good Writer Should Have an Unpublished Manuscript
I won’t mince words. I think every author should have an unpublished manuscript hidden away. It might be stashed in your closet. It might be hidden under the bed. It could even be in an envelope next to your computer because you don’t have the heart to destroy it. (I may speak from personal experience on this last one)
But regardless of its location, it needs to exist.
Why? Because writing manuscripts which will never be published is the equivalent of job training for authors.
Think about it. Every job requires training, and becoming an author is no exception. Educators have to complete student teaching, where other teachers, administrators and supervisors evaluate them. Military recruits experience boot camp, where officers push them to the brink physically and mentally.
Many (if not most) authors, however, start off on their own, without any experience and without anyone to guide them.
Unpublished manuscripts are important for our “training” because they teach us how to craft a story. They help us learn the importance of organizing character development. We realize how hard it is to stick with a writing schedule, and how difficult it can be when our minds go blank. We look back at our manuscripts a month, and then two months, and then four months after they are finished and wonder what the hell we were thinking when our main character decided to do something stupid, like trust an obviously evil character who lured them to a white van by offering them a puppy.
We must, in a sense, train ourselves. This is hard, however, because very few people actually want to push themselves to the brink. We don’t want put the finishing touches on that lesson plan, or do those extra three push-ups. We don’t want to go through the stumbling blocks alone, learning the hard way, discovering and accepting our mistakes without anyone there to validate our worthiness when we complete the arduous task at hand.
But we must, if we want to be experts at our craft. And I’ll even go so far as to say we should do this a minimum of two times if we want to be good at our jobs.
I have two unpublished manuscripts lurking in my basement, and I’m proud to admit it. And the best part of having an unpublished manuscript is that when we have worked on developing our craft, and spent time learning the trade, there is always the possibility that those embarrassing manuscripts can emerge from the envelope beside the computer desk and become something better.
**Comment for your chance to win a print copy of Voices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar **
Voices of the Sea by Bethany Masone Harar
The Sirens of Pacific Grove are being exterminated, and seventeen-year-old Lora is their next target.
Loralei Reines may look like a normal teenager, but her voice can enchant and hypnotize men. Like the other Sirens in her clan, however, she keeps her true identity a secret to protect their species. But now, the Sons of Orpheus, a vicious cult fated to kill all Sirens on Earth, have found them.
Lora is determined to gain control of her powers over the ocean in order to use them as a weapon and a tool to help her clan, but she feels her skills are developing too slowly. Her only chance seems to lie with a human boy named Ryan. When he’s near her, Lora’s abilities strengthen. She knows she shouldn’t be with him because he is human; yet, she can’t resist her attraction to him, or the surge in her powers, whenever they’re together.
The Sirens of Pacific Grove are running out of time. If Lora can’t unlock the power to defeat the Sons of Orpheus, she, along with everyone she loves, will be annihilated.
Bethany Masone Harar graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has enjoyed teaching high school English ever since. As a teacher, Bethany is able to connect with the very audience for whom she writes, and this connection gives her insight into their interests. As a writer, she wants to make her readers gasp out loud, sigh with longing and identify with her characters. Bethany also enjoys posting on her blog, bethsbemusings.blogspot.com, is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is an avid follower of literary-driven social media. She resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, two beautiful children, and her miniature poodle, Annie.
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Join the tour! You can find Bethany dazzling the web all month long on her WoW! Blog tour. Stop by and check her out again. She’s a blast and you can find her here:
Interview + Giveaway
Musings from the Slushpile
Post: Why Every Writer should have an unpublished Manuscript OR Why Sirens are Misunderstood
Review + Giveaway
Author showcase (you don’t have to do anything for this one)
Chapter by Chapter
Post: Top Favs
Writer with Dogs
Post: dog themed
Escaping Reality within Pages
Post: Balancing Family and Work
Giveaway + Review
Me and Reading
Post: Why Dreams are so Important
Words by Webb
Interview: I do an interview called 5Ws (who, what, where, when, why –five questions) Would you be interested in that?
The Lit Ladies
Interview: Do you want me to ask if they can get you the questions before your trip or just wait?
Giveaway + Review
All Things Girl
Post: Life Doesn’t End at 35