Manuscript Update: Project Sunflower #WriteUpMyAlley

If you’ve come across my past writing updates or followed along when I participated in Camp Nanowrimo, you may be aware of Project Sunflower. Of course that is just a filler name for my manuscript. I began it in July 2019 and finished it in August 2019. However, I didn’t get through my first read through and light edit until recently. Thus, for a while there wasn’t much to update you all on. But now that I’m finally making progress, I wanted to share what stage I’m currently at with Project Sunflower. So keep reading if you’re interested in my manuscript update.

What's my manuscript update? Keep reading to find out

Information About Project Sunflower

While I’ve shared that I was writing Project Sunflower, I never really gave much information about what it’s about. I still want to stay a tad tight-lipped about it, but I did want to give some more insight. First off, it’s an adult contemporary/realistic fiction novel. It deals with themes such as fame, self-acceptance and death. It follows two main characters, their journeys apart and together.

It’s a standalone book, definitely no need for a series. The reason it’s nicknamed Project Sunflower is because sunflowers play a thematic role in the story. It started out because I needed to choose a flower when describing the scene. But it just worked. and stuck.

Manuscript update on Project Sunflower

Gosh, this is so weird. When reading that paragraph back I can objectively tell that I still remained quite vague. But even that felt really… scary. I’ve never been the one to put my writing out there so even just explaining what it’s about feels foreign. But, my ultimate goal is to get published, thus I need to find comfort with that idea. I’m sure I’ll share more about Project Sunflower, but for this writing update that’s all about the content I’ll dive in to.

Revision Process: First Read Through

This is all still new to me. I’ve written before (haven’t finished many) but I never actually gone through the process of trying to make the story I wrote into a readable book. So I’m still trying to figure out what my process of revisions will be. The one I used for Project Sunflower could change with my next book (which I’m trying to outline). While writing the manuscript I made a few notes in the margins of my document as well as my writer’s notebook of things I knew needed fixing. Characters, subplots, names, etc. When doing revisions, I started with simply reading through everything.

I made some changes, but not many, that wasn’t the objective. In fact, I added even more notes of things I wanted to change or add. I did delete some scenes, but they didn’t require any major rewrites since the reason for the deletion was because it was quite irrelevant.

Revisions: Second Pass

Now, at the time of writing this update, I’m going through my second pass. While the first pass was relatively easy, I’m expecting to spend more time at this stage. I will begin implementing some of the changes I noted. Thus far that included combining characters, deleting scenes, expanding certain scenes, cleaning up or rewriting awkward sentences and adding more description in places.

During this stage I will be writing a lot. I plan on expanding on the relationship between the two main characters, delving into the relationship one of the main characters has with a friend, adding more scenes to develop a subplot, along with others. With my first pass, I subtracted words, it was around 250 less. Already with the second pass I’ve added a couple hundred words. And I’m only on chapter three!

Next Phase of Revisions

Manuscript update involving revisions

As I mentioned, this is all new to me and I’m trying to figure out what works. Right now, I’m thinking after these new rewrites and changes from stage two, I will then work on going line by line and tightening up the writing. Currently, I’m not apart of any writing groups. But ideally I would like to have a writing group or critique partner in which we can swap manuscripts and give feedback. This won’t be the last step in the process, but it’s the next stage. My next manuscript update will hopefully be when I have beta readers!

The End Goal

Like I said, I want to be published. I’ve done some research into traditional and self publishing. There’s still more to learn about each route, but I am leaning towards traditional publishing. I think it would be the right choice for me, particularly for my debut novel. One of my dreams is to walk into a bookstore and see my book on the shelves. I will give a manuscript update when I’ve made more progress.

Any other writes out there? Give me a writing update on your WIP!

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