Author Archives: Celine Zabel

Next Step After Writing ‘Lives Shattered’

 

Sleeping Buddies

My first draft of Lives Shattered was finished. I needed feedback to find out if I had “a book” or was it a bunch of drivel. I asked several friends if they would give my manuscript a read. All enthusiastically said, “Yes!” I had a few friends who dropped out of the reading for various personal reasons.  But those were the exceptions.  All the others grabbed on to the task and took their readings of Lives Shattered in quite different directions. A few came on board once they heard about my book, and they offered their time to read my manuscript.

Jody grabbed onto spelling, comas, and semi-colons.  She wrote a comment in the margin at one point that said, “Your semi-colons are driving me crazy!” By her second read, she had major additional contributions regarding the overall structure and content; what was confusing and what was over-done or omitted. (Note that I threw in a semi-colon here in her honor). Alice commented on content that was incorrect from her memory of things and items which could be elaborated upon.  Lynn and Sarah had issues with overall sections that were too long and not explained well enough, like, “What ever happened to the kids at this point?” “You need to introduce the subject better, it just didn’t flow.”

Editing, editing, and more editing. I slashed, I re-wrote, I moved sections around for clarity. There are still sections that I read, for the hundredth time, and still cry about. Not for the poorly written word, but for the very topic I was writing about. And there are always things that I wish I would have written about a little differently. And there are things and people that I wish I would have included; stories forgotten, but now remembered as friends and family are giving me feedback on Lives Shattered. But the book editing process could continue until I was cold in the grave. Like a mother’s job, it is never done.

Overlapping the manuscript reading, was my search for book agents and book publishers for Lives Shattered. That’s up next.