So, the first read-through of “Children” is going pretty well. I’m up to page 78 out of 123, and hoping to finish the Despair worksheet tomorrow night at Starbucks Runnymede in Toronto!
This is the biggest part of the first lesson, mostly because it involves the full manuscript read-through. The idea is that you look for five different things as you read:
- Ideas that didn’t work well or fell apart as you were writing them.
- Characters that work for the book, or don’t.
- Elements of the setting that work well, or poorly.
- Places where you find yourself skimming as you read.
- Places where the story is working and you enjoy it as you read.
So for each of those spots, I write down a little code in hot pink pen in the margin of the page, and make a note in my excel spreadsheet. The code indicates that it’s worksheet 1B, with another letter a through e for each of those five cases, and a numeric suffix to indicate the spreadsheet line.