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  • Writer's pictureTERRY ANN MARSH


Books are like living things.

While in the process of being born, they are constantly changing. It is most unlikely that a finished manuscript looks like the first draft. It could be that so many changes were made that you hardly recognize the finished product from its nascent form.

Maybe you had to tear away at your story to get to the little kernel of truth buried at the bottom, and the transformation was more like a death that eventually led to a renewal. Like a seed buried in soil, the outer shell is torn away, and the plant grows, taking on its new shape and form.

Books are, also, like houses in need of rehab.

Perhaps, as you edit your manuscript, you realize that your story has “good bones,” but you will need to move around some walls and change out some fixtures to make it perfect. Or maybe, your first draft is pretty darn good, and you just needed a little paint and a few new plants outside. Is it a complete tear down, or could a few throw pillows make all the difference in the world?

After your critique group(s), beta readers, editors and agents all put their marks on it, the changes will eventually come to an end. Maybe there’s a buyer for your new house, or someone wants to take that weird plant you grew home.

Maybe not. But, it’s yours, no matter what. You grew it, you shaped it, and in return it shaped you a little bit as well.

That’s what living things do – they impact each other.

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