I just got the manuscript back from Lynn Palermo, my writing and accountability coach. I really struggled with the idea of hiring a professional to go through and do what is basically a developmental edit, but I’m so glad I did. (Developmental editing focuses on improving the big picture story elements such as plot, flow, and character development.)
She made excellent suggestions which, when put into place, will make the reader’s experience better. It’s a bit daunting to think about making all the changes, but I’ve learned so much since starting this process that it makes sense to put in the work and keep moving forward. The other benefit was that Lynn said she really enjoyed the story! (She said she cried at the end!!) So that was VERY validating!
One of Lynn’s suggestions involved developing a few of the characters a bit more. So, that’s what I’m working on now. I’m reviewing photos and documents I have gathered to glean additional descriptions of settings and people. It is especially enjoyable to review my mother’s files—a way to have her close by during this holiday time of year!
Here is my mother’s passport photo from 1938. I love this photo in particular because I see so much of my granddaughter, Paisley, in my mom’s face.
The name of the photo studio is stamped on the back: PHOTO WIENER-GASPAREC along with the address. I googled the studio address and found it was located a 14-minute walk from their home.
Turning over the passport photos of my grandmother and grandfather, I see the same stamp. I think I will add a scene describing the family getting their photos taken in preparation for their exodus from Vienna.
I’m still struggling with quieting my “researcher brain” and allowing my “creative brain” to take the lead. It’s a process, for sure!
My best wishes to you for a happy and healthy holiday season! Stay tuned for the next step in my writing journey.