Jody Lynn Nye lists her main career activity as "spoiling cats." She lives near Atlanta with three feline overlords, Athena, Minx, and Marmalade; and her husband, author and packager Bill Fawcett. She has published more than 50 books, including collaborations with Anne McCaffrey and Robert Asprin, and over 170 short stories. Her latest books are Rhythm of the Imperium (Baen), Moon Tracks (with Travis S. Taylor, Baen), Myth-Fits (Ace), and Once More, with Feeling, a short book on revising manuscripts (WordFire). She teaches the annual DragonCon Two-Day Writers Workshop in Atlanta, GA, and is a judge for the Writers of the Future Contest.

Once More, With Feeling by Jody Lynn Nye

The newest volume in the Million Dollar Writing series, Once More, With Feeling is a guide by New York Times Bestselling author Jody Lynn Nye to revising your finished manuscript. Nye goes point by point over the topics you should review when working toward a final draft of a new book. From narrative hook to resolution, with discussions of formatting, resources, and numerous examples of problem-solving, this volume should be by the elbow of any aspiring writer.




Congratulations! You finished a book. You're exhausted and excited. When you typed the words "The End" (or just acknowledged that the final period was the last one), you ascended into an echelon that fewer than two percent of all the would-be writers ever do: the ones who have finished something that they wrote.

Go ahead and pat yourself on the back. It's a real attainment. You have every reason to be proud. You put your ideas on paper (let's be real: on your hard drive). If it was nonfiction, you organized your facts and checked them, presented them in an interesting manner, and concluded with your observations about your chosen subject. If it was fiction, you built a world from scratch, peopled it with characters whom you like and believe in, set them on a journey in which they succeeded or failed to accomplish their goal, and had fun doing it.

You had fun, didn't you? If you didn't, I promise you your readers will be able to tell. But we can handle that part later.

Now is the time to celebrate in the way that you like best. Pop the champagne cork, buy yourself something to commemorate, go out to dinner with loved ones, sleep without feeling that the book is going to kick you out of bed in the middle of the night to write something you forgot. Take a break.

(Musical interlude)

Did you take a break? Good.

Now it's time to move onto the next stage. No, it isn't where you attach the document to a message and send it to your agent or publisher or an online book publication service. It's time to revise your manuscript.

When you write, you write as a reader. You wrote this book because you believed that it didn't exist before, and it needed to. You put into the story everything that you would love to find in a book. You fulfilled those fantasies. Scratched those itches. Brought the story to a satisfying and appropriate conclusion. Well done. Really. There is no sarcasm here. I mean it.

When you revise, though, you need to read it as an editor. Now is the time to make the book the best you can make it. Let's begin.