How To Marinate Your Manuscript – Are You Serving Up Raw Chicken?

Photo by Thoursie

Photo by Thoursie

You wouldn’t think for one moment of serving your Sunday guests a pan of raw chicken. At least not intentionally.

If you wouldn’t serve your company raw chicken, why would you serve an editor or agent a raw manuscript.

About now you are rolling your eyes and saying, “As if.”

Get it over with, admit it, you served raw chicken, just like I did. What is the raw chicken of the writing world? A manuscript that needed more marination, more baking.

Think of Making Chicken and Compare It To Your Manuscript:

1. Wash the chicken/Clear the mind. Start with an open mind to brainstorm story ideas. Don’t just take the first one that comes to mind. Come up with at least five before you pick the one to pursue first.

2. Add Spice or Marinate. Spend time immersing your thoughts in the story. Follow your imagination down what if trails and see what comes out of those thoughts. Be Sure To Journal this stage.

3. PreHeat the Oven/Prewriting Work. Take time to develop your characters and do any prewriting necessary to have a solid story. If you are a pantser, some of this may come at the end.

4. Bake Your Story/ Mix The Story Ingredients into A Story. Write your manuscript including all of the ingredients.

5. Check the Temperature/Check The Structure. Is your structure lined up correctly. Make sure all of the components are just right.

6. Add salt to taste / Add any missing elements in an edit. You may have to add a bit and check it again until it is just so.

What is the leading cause of rejection when you send in a manuscript?

Raw Chicken, or a manuscript that needed more time to marinate and get the elements just right. Sometimes it is so easy to get in a hurry with our writing. We just can’t wait to get published.

Be ever so careful not to under cook your manuscript. Give it the time it needs to shine.

What are some of the elements of a raw manuscript you’ve critiqued?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

5 thoughts on “How To Marinate Your Manuscript – Are You Serving Up Raw Chicken?

  1. Melissa Tagg says:

    Haha, I knew it was a lot of work to get a manuscript ready, but now I’m realizing how much work it is to prepare chicken too. 🙂

    Hmm, an element of a raw manuscript…I think one element of a raw manuscript is one in which the characters’ motivations aren’t quite fleshed out, or are just a little bit off.

  2. My early manuscripts that I sent out were so much like raw chicken…and it is now so embarrassing to look back on. Great post, Michelle.

  3. Elizabeth Bohan says:

    Michelle, I appreciate the way you are able to use objects to make an effective lesson on writing. The accompanying picture serves to impress it on my mind. I love it!

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