So what about that Manuscript thing… ?


Oh. River Fork?

I had planned a coming of age, YA story. With a bit of fantasy aka paranormal.

Why did I write it?

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As a former teacher, I encouraged my high school students to write. Several of my students had dealt with a major loss. They wrote about it, but no one talked about it.

Neither did I—Mother died in a fire. My sister and I witnessed the event. I was five, sister was seven. We never forgot. We never talked about it. Nor did father. Assumptions and rumors spread.

During my teaching career, a story slowly evolved in my head. Picture book? Children’s book? Family story book? My brain cranked out scenarios. It was a morass of imagery. How would I best present my idea? I wasn’t a writer. I wrote poetry. Still do and tuck it away in a briefcase. But writing a book?

I’m an artist. So, I started with cute pictures and poem-like stories.

The story grew. I dropped the cute — loss is not cute.

I needed a plan, feeling, a theme, a plot, etc… . What did I get myself into?

My head said, put it into words. I began writing, finishing the Manuscript the year I retired because I had more time to myself.

Then I researched the writing craft, improved my writing skills and investigated publishing options. Needless to say, publishing  surely changed from when I first put pen to paper.

The story:

  • Timeline: 1956-57
  • Theme: the loss of a parent.
  • Setting: River Fork. A farming and logging community. In the mountains near the Saco River.
  • Characters: Three neighboring friends: Tim, Charlie and Roach. Tim will be 13 in three days. The others are teens.
  • It is about coming of age, death, forgiveness, hope and faith. Oh, and there is a budding romance.
  • There is a bit of paranormal (no magical potions, witches, vampires, violence, etc…)

 

So, Has Anyone Reviewed It?

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The Manuscript has been line critiqued and gone through lots and lots of revisions.

A year ago I found three beta readers.
Results:
I did not write to the YA audience. It is suitable for the Middle Grade audience. Disappointment for sure here.
Okay. I asked for an honest review.
I received three great reviews. Two people pointed out what didn’t work and what could be done to make the story more interesting. One Beta Reader recommended a few resources. With expert advice and suggestions, I learned a lot. I am grateful.
So. I’m doing lots of editing, developing my characters and setting a bit more. And DUMPING stuff that was kind of iffy even as I first wrote it.
  • If it’s IFFY for the writer – It most certainly will be IFFY for the reader. DUMP IT. Ahhh. Yes. You’ll feel better. I did.

Once this latest revision is complete, I’ll need a couple of Beta Reader(s) again. Then on to an editor and publishing—self-publishing.

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For those who work with me in this endeavor, your name will be mentioned in the credits and you will receive a free digital copy of my novel once it is published.

The sequel—Roach’s story—sits in my laptop. Waiting.

Please like, comment and share this post.
Thanks.
J.M. Orise

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