Manuscript Resurrection Part II

Last month I wrote Manuscript Resurrection and it was about the next book I am working on called Moscow Airlift. In the earlier blog, I thought I was going to send it off to a publisher by the end of May with well-founded hope that it would be accepted and published sometime around the end of this year or early next.

When I finished the latest read through, something bugged me about the manuscript. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I was not, and the word that comes to mind is “comfortable” with the manuscript. I couldn’t tell what it was, but it was really bothering me. While there were parts of it that I thought were really, really good, there were others that needed a lot of work.

But that wasn’t the problem. It was something else, but what? I couldn’t figure it out…

So, I started again. Then one afternoon while I was struggling, it hit me why…. So, let me give you an analogy. Early in my flying career, I was having trouble with approaches. On one really bad one, I kept making correction after correction and each one made the approach worse. The instructor took control because he correctly sensed this was a wonderful opportunity for what I call a “coaching moment.”

He waved off the landing and he gave me control when we were climbing back to pattern altitude. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid to wave off an approach you can’t salvage.” He called it “pushing a bad position.”

So I’m waving off sending Moscow Airlift to a publisher. It is not ready.

What’s needed to fix it? Short answer is I’m not sure but I think it is at least two things. One is a plot thread that isn’t working. Yes, it provides a pretext for part of the plot, but I keep asking myself is it really needed. Or, is just a few passages that I like and am reluctant to cut?

The second is that this is a book based on a failed attempt at writing a novel back before the turn of the century. I liked some elements of the plot, but not others. The question running through the back of my mind is why didn’t I start over. Maybe I should have? Am I pushing a bad position?

At the moment, I don’t know but instinct tells me it is. The more I try to fix it, the worse it gets. So, its time to reassess and take a fresh look at Moscow Airlift. Stay tuned.

Marc Liebman

June 2017

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