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Wow! Here we are at the end of the first quarter of 2016. I had an interesting month, in that both my draft and my revision were on the same manuscript–and I got the revision done first!

You see, I had been revising a story over and over trying to fix this and that so we could get it back on submission. After several more critiques, both from CPs and professionals, I came to the conclusion that I’d lost the heart of the story. It now seemed like a jumble of mixed parts stitched together.

So I started over. I wrote a brand new story with the same main character. But the motivations are different, the plot is different, the theme and the outcome are different. Sometimes, we have to let go of our first attempts altogether in order to re-vision a story.

Now tell us your progress. Did you complete a draft and/or revision in March? Let us know in the Rafflecopter and in the comments. This month’s winner will win a picture book critique from March’s Featured Author Julie Falatko.

Here is what you need to do to check in for a chance to win:

  1. See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “A critique from Julie Falatko” at the top.
  2. Click on the “Comment on Julie Falatko’s Blog Post” button. It will reveal the task, which is to comment on Julie Falatko’s blog post. If you haven’t comment yet, you can click HERE and comment.
  3. Commenting on Julie Falatko’s Featured Author post and clicking enter in the Rafflecopter will get you one entry in this month’s drawing whether you completed a draft or not. When you click ENTER on that option in Rafflecopter, the next two options will open up.
  4. Click on the “Wrote a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in March. If you did, click ENTER, if you did not, move on to the next step.
  5. Click on the last “Revised a PB Manuscript” button. This will ask if you revised a PB in March. If you did, click ENTER. If not, move on to the next step.
  6. That’s it! Rafflecopter will track your points.

We’ve created a quick video to walk you through your monthly check-in. You can view it in the Video Tutorial section of the forum HERE.

No foolin’! You have until midnight Eastern on April 1st to enter your results. Rafflecopter will draw a winner and I’ll announce it on the blog on April 2nd.

Let the ideas spring from your head to the paper in April!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Post Has 40 Comments

  1. This month I wrote a new draft (which is junk), and worked hard at revisions on 2 different mss (which are promising!). Chugging along and ever so grateful for amazing critique partners, an incredible agent, and thoughtful editors!

  2. I didn’t think I was going to make the March draft but then inspiration hit and I wrote a story I’m proud of in 2 days. It still needs work but it’s on paper! All thanks to 12X12!

  3. That does sound backwards, yet very effective, Julie! I was looking at the sessions at the upcoming New England SCBWI conference, and one is being given by Harold Underdown that sounds similar to your approach: “Reinventing a Picture Book Manuscript – When tweaks or critiques or “letting it sit” just aren’t enough, a picture book manuscript needs to be reinvented, and a new direction found.”

    Okay, question: I’m seeing Vimeo movies pop up in people’s posts now. Are these related and should I be watching them as part of 12×12? I’m a little hesitant to click not knowing…

    I’ve gotten into the rhythm of writing a new draft and then revising the draft from the previous month, each month. And I’m happy with that progress!

  4. 12×12 continues to be my accountability ruler…even though I haven’t been active in the Forum, I am writing more now than ever before. Keeping to my goal of writing a new nonfiction picture book manuscript every month, I’ve completed the one for March…and have already had it in front of critique buddies…as well as revised it several times. And I completely rewrote my February story…and now I’m trying to combine both the old and new versions into one smoothly flowing story. We’ll see if I can make that happen. 😉

  5. I can’t believe that I’ve finished 3 more rough drafts and one polished (but not perfect yet) pb! I’m really so very grateful to 12X12 and all the participants. Though I haven’t had enough time to dig into the forums, I’m really inspired by the facebook commenting and wonderful posts! I’m excited to see my own Emerald City just over the rainbow! 🙂

  6. I would not have written a new draft in March if it weren’t for 12×12. I know a lot of you are with me on this. I sat down like a petulant child on March 29th and wrote the damn thing I’d been thinking about all month. It’s currently awful. But next month…revise time!
    I love this ’12 step’ program….”it works if you work it!”

  7. I wrote a short draft in March (thank you, Vivian for the 50 word contest) that I intend to revise & expand in the next few months. It was a month full of travel, though, so I printed up the MSs I wanted to revise & carried them everywhere so I could work anywhere. Thanks to the helpful comments of my new 12×12 critique group, I’m ready to dig in for more revisions for my favorite & with the helpful comments of the Would You Read It Community on a pitch yesterday, I’m ready to revise another one. April will be one busy month – hope we get lots of showers to keep me at my laptop!

  8. This month I geared it up a bit. I revised 3 picture books and added 2 new rough drafts thanks to PiBoIdMo. I also revised a chapter book and have a very rough new draft that I wrote for ChaBooCha… and if that wasn’t enough, I was also a participant in ReFoReMo as well as12 x 12!

  9. I both revised and drafted a manuscript. And now I have an idea box where I plop my ideas into to pull out in future months.

  10. I revised quite a bit this month, but I haven’t written a new draft yet. I still have some hours. If I don’t manage one today, I’ll just have to write two new ones next month. ReFoReMo was awesome again. Love my piles of picture books!

  11. Unfortunately, I clicked on the video because I thought it was part of the response.

    Anyway, I completed a new ms and worked on 2 revisions.

  12. Julie, thank you for your post. It echoes my situation almost to a tee. Your post have me confidence that I was’nt alone in the rewrite process. I have to look at it with new eyes. It’s difficult regrouping. I had to pick myself up by my bootstraps and head down a new path. I think I can. I think I can.

  13. Wrote another draft this month, workshopped with my SCBWI critique group, currently working on revisions. Thank you for pushing me 12×12! Also took a day to wander the Met for inspiration. Lovely 🙂 Happy April Writing everyone!

  14. I wrote my March one toward the end of the month and then… I wrote another story just a couple of days ago! The second one is a very rough draft, but still. I have two for this month 🙂 and revised a bunch more. Where will this road take me, I’d like to know? LOL Such is the life of a writer…

  15. Hmm, I tried posting earlier but it didn’t go through. Sorry if this is a double post. YES! I revised a story and wrote something new. The new story is super short (and not clever short…just short). But it’s a start. Thanks for the on going accountability. 🙂

  16. I sure hope you haven’t been hacked, Julie and Kelli! And you didn’t need any headaches either! I drafted, revised, and have such an abstract idea for another ms, that I do have a headache!!! Thanks for the first quarter together, people!!!

  17. I revised so much I think my brain is going to explode but I learned so much. I’m going to take a two day break and then revise another story. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  18. This was a month of revising, revising, revising and then thinking on a new story. It was quite a month, but I feel the growth and the challenge to reach out and see if what I feel is what others feel too.

  19. I wrote my new draft in an hour-long workshop session at a local SCBWI conference! I did end up revising that draft for a critique. I also finally paginated an old story that’s been a jumbled mess for a while now. Having spread/page numbers made a huge difference! I could see (finally) what the story needed!

    Thanks for the accountability and resources. I’m making the kind of progress with writing that I’ve wanted to for the past year.

  20. This is my first month to check in… I missed it last two months. Glad 12X12 is not only motivating me but keeping me on track on building body of manuscripts. Thank you!

  21. I did write a manuscript in March. I had a pretty good idea, wrote a sparse outline, but actually was inspired to make some changes while waiting for a friend who was 30 minutes late. Thanks to D for being late! I did a revision on another piece before meeting with another friend. Sounds like my friends are helping me out.

  22. Happy to have completed my second MS draft since joining 12 X 12 in January (and revised the first one in February). Have some ideas cooking for April!

    Taking it month by month, each with its goal, feels like a sustainable pace. Really grateful.

  23. This is the first month I didn’t do a revision, but I did do a new draft. It was a hectic month for me personally so I am glad to have written the draft. But April will be better. I will get back on track and do both.

  24. I’m thrilled to have completed two revisions this month! I also plotted a new historical pb I’ve had in mind for the last several months, and I began revisions on a historical mg that’s been collecting dust for the last few years. I’m on a roll! 😀

  25. Julie, so good to read this post. I’m going through a similar revision process. An editor likes my characters, but wants me to come up with a brand new story. Torture! I think I can, I think I can… I read a great post by April Halprin Wayland about revision of her book “More Than Enough.” It took years, but she got it done! Inspiring! Enjoy Bologna!

  26. Feeling so good ! I did 2 new drafts (well first ones they need a LOT revision, I know but still). And revised one from last year. I seriously am feeling good about myself 🙂 Now if only I can get that perfect revision out there… 🙂

  27. As far as appetizers go, I usually try them all. Indeed, there is something in each of the of ten tantalizing morsels you so generously offered in your list, to sink my teeth into! Thank you!

    I began to identify myself, and call myself a writer, about two years ago. In doing this, I stopped thinking of myself as a ‘pretend writer’ or a ‘writer in hiding’. I am much more present in my writing and there is nothing pretend about it except the exciting story-line!

    I am so pleased to part of 12×12. I believe it is an essential supportive and inspiring community!

    Warmly,

  28. Worked on a new story, from some notes I’d started more than TEN years ago!!! And also am trying to revise another, based on critique from our group. Love the fresh perspective!

  29. So this month, I wrote my draft early, then let it stew. When I went back to it (and after exposure to some new writing knowledge), I realized… my story had no Problem! Well, that’s not much of a story, now is it? So I wrote one in. I realize this draft still needs work, but another difference this month is that my story started with the resolution, & then I was able to work toward that from the beginning.

  30. Oh I’m so sad I missed the check-in! I actually did write a draft this month and revised another, which is what’s important at the end of the day, but I’m still sad I didn’t check in 🙁

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