Monday, February 22, 2016

A Manuscript Reunion

I can't stop my smile from growing when I hear a friend's voice on the phone or receive a piece of mail from a friend who I haven't seen in a while.

A couple weeks ago, I had a full day of smiling as I received phone calsl back to back from TWO AlleyCats and a note from another Cat that afternoon! Wow, talk about feeling loved. At least once (sometimes twice) a year, many of us AlleyCats spend some quality time face-to-face, reminiscing, brainstorming, supporting each other, and building special friendships of a lifetime.

In perfect writerly fashion, I am going to use our little reunions as a segue to my most recent encounter with an old manuscript that is suddenly rising from the drawer it was stuffed into.
I feel like I am reuniting with old friends as I remember the characters who I spent a a a a a LOT of time with three years ago.

While my AlleyCat sistas and I seem to mesh upon first squeal, there are differences with my fictional friends who make that manuscript reunion not only reminiscent, but a teensy bit awkward...and even deflating.

Have you ever picked up an old story and reacquainted yourself with the characters? What did you discover?

Did too much time pass by that you no longer have anything in common with your imaginary friends? I mean, do they seem shallow and flat and just a reminder of how much growing you've done while you were apart?

How about things that may have seem like scars or wounds in your characters' lives, now seem small in comparison to the real life experiences you as their creator have endured?

No matter how disappointing I might feel with the 2013 version of Angie's made-up people, it's a good thing in a way, because it reminds me that I am growing in my craft, my experience, and my knowledge. I look back and regret the failed submissions and unfruitful queries LESS. I get that 20/20 hindsight that I simply wasn't ready to introduce the world to those characters back then, and I now have the opportunity to develop deeper "relationship" with my people after all I've learned.

Writing is a beautiful thing when we grow, we learn, and remember our footsteps to creating a beautiful story, a perfectly flawed character, and find a most opportune chance to touch an audience--in perfect timing.

 I am just thankful that in my non-fiction life, I have friends like the AlleyCats who push me further down the road as a person, a writer, and a friend, so I can make my fiction shine even brighter.

Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she has written six historical novels and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Angie also spends her time designing one-sheets and drinking good coffee with great friends. Check her personal blog at and connect at:
Twitter: @angiedicken

No comments: