Second Time Around

Last night I went to my writers' group, and after a few of us went out for coffee. I shared with them that I had enough poems for a second manuscript, yet I haven't had the time or inclination to shape it into any working order. Admittedly, I have a lot going on right now, but I realized that I really need to get over my doubts and move forward.

So when I came home, I took out my pages and started to put them in order. Here are a few things I've noticed.

  • There are three natural sections: external-facing, third-person poetry; family poems; and darker poems. I don't have the book in front of me, but the divisions made me think of Sharon Olds' The Gold Cell. Not sure yet if this is a good thing.
  • I have 53 pieces, but I'll probably remove at least five to six of them because they don't seem to fit, or are too similar to others in the collection.
  • At some point, I wanted to write a special section on a particular theme, such as a grouping of sonnets or something. But after reading, I think the poems tie in well together as is.
  • No form poems—I feel like I should have at least one in there.
  • Most are in need of heavy revision since I tend to push it off until the last possible moment.
  • My poems tend to look the same on the page, short and dense. So I want to expand some and let them breathe a little.
  • No title yet. Uncoupling comes to mind … maybe not.

I'd like to have Manuscript 1.0 ready but June 28—my own self-imposed goal, which is tied into a grant applications.

Feels good to take that first step.


Anonymous said…
i know you've been hoping for this to emerge for a long time. (and a bit worried about it.) i'm so happy that it's beginning to happen. :)

i also have discovered a second manuscript. but i have to get my first one launched before i get too crazy!
Catherine said…
That's quite a demanding schedule if many of the poems need heavy editing - but I'm sure you're up for it! Good luck!
Kay Cooke said…
You have done so well ... I am in awe. As always!
Odessa said…
that's great january! i think taking the first step is always the hardest one. good luck for june 28!
January said…
Thanks Odessa! yes, the first step is always the hardest.
January said…
Thanks Kay. As someone who has put together a few manuscripts, does it ever get easier?
January said…
Catherine, if I push myself, I'll get more done. But as for a completed manuscript, I don't think I'll have it ready to send to publishers until end of the year.
January said…
Carolee ... yea you! Congrats on manuscripts one and two. I'm sure you'll find a home for both of them. Good work always finds a home.
Writer Bug said…
Go January! That's amazing that you already have a second manuscript ready-ish. And I love the groupings you noticed.

And I laughed at that pic of your kids in Old Navy! It's so funny that they are so intrigued with mannequins! Maybe you should rent the movie Mannequin, which was one of my all time faves as a kid.
Rethabile said…
How would you expand them? By spacing them out physically or by adding/pruning lines?
January said…
Rethabile, I'm going to try both. I may play with line lengths, as well as adding lines.

Many of these poems are drafts, so they read as if a line or two is missing. It will take some time, but I think I'll have a manuscript ready to send out in a few months.

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