My cat is fine. My manuscript isn’t. There are reasons for this. Here is goes…

I don’t outline. I don’t write character worksheets. I don’t plot. I don’t plan. I have no pre-writing system.

I write the first scene and the last scene and then I write any scene that comes to me in no particular order. After I try to stitch it together.

None of this serves me well in the end. Ever.

In my attempt to edit my 1945-1946 Manchuria historical fiction MG novel, it’s clear that I need help. I bought SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL by Jessica Brody years ago, but never understood what to do with it a hopeless pantser, but I’m now finding it immensely helpful in my editing process. It has helped me to shape both the narrative and character arcs. In addition to the book, I’ve found the podcast to also be helpful, but one of my favorite new tools is the Novel Calculator.

I would love to say that going forward I will be more methodical in the planning stages of my next manuscript. It wouldn’t be truthful, but I definitely have learned something from my mistakes and will make this part of my editing ritual in the future.