Tuesday, July 20, 2010

L'Enfant Terrible!

We all have 'em.  Those awful "extra" chapters in our manuscripts.  The ones the editor sends back for a diaper change.  "Um, please fix this."  What?!  So what's a parent to do?  Don't toss those little gems, stash them a in folder.  There is a place for L'Enfant Terrible!

With a little sprucing, you can offer them as a free read on your website or your publisher's website.  And every holiday is a time to celebrate.  Can you take one of those cranky babies and make it into a cute little Christmas story for your readers?  Readers love to have the extras that authors are willing to share.  And you will rapidly become known as a generous writer.  People will flock to your website.  If you share it, they will come.

So the next time you write a chapter that has no place in your novel, or your editor sends a chapter back for a rewrite in the main characters point of view and not the strange dude who showed up one day, (ask me how I know this...)  put it in the L'enfant Terrible file folder for a free read for your fans.  They will love you for it and the little tykes will be happy you didn't scrap them.

Do you have any l'enfant terribles?  Where do they live or were they banished from the kingdom?  I bet they are still lurking somewhere and would welcome an invitation home.

Please note, I have a new section here called Bits and signed by the "The Red Pen Speaks."  This is my new place for little writing tips from the editor.  Enjoy!

Photo credit: idahoeditor from morguefile.com


  1. I think all writers have L'Enfant Terrible. I actually especially have them when I write picture book manuscripts because each word is so important--and sometimes, one sentence on a picture book is like a whole chapter in a novel. Aren't we so in love with our words sometimes? :) LOL


  2. We are, Margo, we are. And letting go of one of them is like sending it off in the ocean on a raft. Interesting that one sentence in a picture book is like a chapter in a novel. :)