Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nursing the Manuscript

Pediatricians say that human babies are born three months before they are ready. That really, a human baby is not mature enough to be outside the womb when it is born. This means that as parents, we spent a crazy and hectic three months helping baby mature to a point where it can be more--human-like.

Supposing this is true, I wonder how we might compare our biological babies to our type-written babies.

Caring for your Newborn Manuscript


There are several safe, comfortable ways to hold your manuscript. One of the best ways to get a good look at it and decide what needs the most help is to print it off. Whatever position you choose, always support your main character and make certain you have given your character the freedom to make consistent, character-driven choices. Your manuscript at this point cannot stand alone. Make sure you support the grammatical rules for English, as well.


Even after your manuscript is out, newborns usually need several more hours of feeding to not only increase the pace, but to trim the excess. While not always pleasant, it's helpful to find the time every three to four hours to care for your manuscript; some feed as often as every two hours. This is a newborn manuscript, and it needs more care than one that has been out for several months. Take the time to think about your plot. Reread your descriptions. Analyze your characters. Dissect your grammar. There is so much that must be done that you shouldn't neglect your manuscript for more than four hours at a time.


You're not imagining it when you hear your newborn manuscript crying out to you. Crying is a form of communication between the manuscript and the author. Newborns usually cry when there's no hook, the characters are flat, the grammar is poor, or something just doesn't feel right. An author will quickly learn what the manuscript is trying to say. Now is not the time to become bored or put off by your manuscript; now is the time when it most needs you to pay attention to it.


Sleep is an essential routine for a newborn manuscript. Sometimes the best way for a manuscript to grow is to let it rest. It is normal for a manuscript to sleep 16 to 20 hours a day, sometimes even more. Authors should rest and take it easy while their newborn sleeps, though always keeping the manuscript in the forefront of their mind.

Cutting the Cord

You created this manuscript, but it is not you. You must be willing to give it the freedom it needs to breathe and to grow. Don't expect it to mirror everything you do or act as you would. The cord should be completely severed within one to three weeks after birth.

Caring for a newborn manuscript is one of life's biggest challenges. You will probably feel overwhelmed at the beginning--after all, there's so much to learn and so many changes! But don't worry; you'll soon know your manuscript's needs and how to meet them.


M. Gray said...

haha! great parallel! you're brilliant!

Summer Ross said...

This was great fun to read! thanks for posting!

KarenG said...

Haha, so true!! And congrats on the new arrival, Tamara!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Glad you liked it, Mary!

You're welcome, Summer!

Thanks, Karen!!

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm doing the revisions my agent requested right now...and it's almost painful at times! I'm chopping it to bits. I know it'll be better in the end but it's still painful!

Kasey said...

Very clever!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Ohh Stephanie, I know all about those painful revisions! Good luck!

Hi Kasey! Thanks for stopping by!

Talli Roland said...

Love this Tamara! Great analogy. Hope all's well with you and your new little one!

DL Hammons said...

Very clever! Can't tell at all what's on your mind.

I have a question though...will my manuscript have a harder time attaching to me if I don't breast feed it? :)

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

LOL! you're very funny. tell you what. If you succeed in breastfeeding your manuscript, I want to know about it!

RaShelle said...

This is great Tamara!!! Our manuscripts are like our babies. Mine is crying out to me right now. I'd better go see what it needs. Probably a diaper change aka some revisions. LOL. Excellent. =D

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

ha ha, RaShelle! I thought about trying to work out a diaper change in there. But then I decided I'm sick of diapers.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Excellent comparison. I was thinking how much attention that newborn needs. We can't ignore it, nor will it let us. Baby it. I'll use that as my motivation.

T. Anne said...

I LOVE this analogy! I guess as writers we sort of get writing analogy fever, lol!!! (look for my email) ;)

Dominique said...

This post is absolutely fabulous. You're totally rocking the analogy.

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