Sunday we had snow so it was the perfect day to revise my manuscript. I think I mentioned that it had been rejected...but it did get to the semi-finalist stage of a contest, which is pretty nice. But I knew I wanted to revise it again.
So I printed it all out and laid it on the living room rug to see. The first section needed, at least in my mind, the most revision. What poem should be your first poem? How do you organize the book--no sections or sections? And if so, how many? Do you title your sections? I've learned to follow my gut on this one and so the manuscript is in four sections with titles. That stayed the same, pretty much this round of revising but I did decide to rename the manuscript. In The Kingdom Of Her Small Urges was good in that it narrowed down my concerns in the book, but I've seen just too many other books starting with the phrase In The Kingdom Of...and wanted more my own title.
So I found the poem that I wanted to start the manuscript off with and really scoured it for a phrase to title the book with. Ultimately, I decided to name the book after the title of the poem and actually place that poem as an introductory poem, so to speak. It comes before the first section. After I decided on that, I rearranged the poems to fit more with the themes of the title, which means the first section deals more with girl-hood poems and then moves into different themes in the other sections. Then I printed out the rearranged stuff and reread it. I found a typo, arghhhhhh, and a few other mechanical errors and fixed those and reprinted again. And then I sent it out to a first-book contest.
Then, a new press has started up with an open reading period, but they ask for 60 pages of poems, rather than the usual 48-80-ish page requirement. So I decided to add eight more poems to send to them. That was interesting in that I had to go back through my poems, again!, and decide which poems might fit. But it also made me expand my manuscript, which is what I really wanted to do. Force myself to
think outside my comfort zone. I still like my other, shorter one better, but we'll see.
So wish me luck!