fb_img_1450815466659_zps5z8n4nznChris Angela was riding her horse one day, when a voice told her to talk to her friend and co-worker, James, about working together on a children’s book.  It had been a dream of hers for some time to write a book for kids and she knew that James enjoyed writing as a hobby.

The two of them talked it over for a bit and decided to give it a shot.  They were already good friends and had worked well together on projects at the hospital.

The concept was simple; write a story about Moon, a horse that Chris Angela once owned, telling the readers about her life.  Neither James, nor Chris Angela, had any idea what was in store for them.

The first draft of the story was written on a smart phone and in the end it was less than ten thousand words.  Looking back it was a glorified outline that traced the life of Moon in a fictionalized story that was loosely based on her life.  A second character, Blackhoof, was added to give her a romantic interest.  A few other supporting characters were thrown in and the story began to gain a life of its own.

The second draft was roughly twenty thousand words.  Both of the main characters were fleshed out in this draft, more description was added to give life and depth to Moon’s world and a few more characters were introduced, enriching the tale.  When the draft was done it was shared with some friends and family and the feedback was positive and encouraging.  For all that Chasing Moon was at the time, it was still far too short of a story to be considered for publication.12661920_1705363386377164_5743284962835865177_n_zpsfe0pnzkf

The third draft added roughly eight thousand words to the book and helped solidify the story with new events, new scenes and new characters, but it fell short of the goal of being a publishable manuscript.

Busy schedules for both Chris Angela and James slowed down the production of the fourth draft, but it continued to develop, slowly and with great care.  Many discussions were had regarding the characters, their development and the different locales in the book.  Native plants and animals were researched to keep the story grounded in reality no matter where the characters were.  The pacing of the story was carefully watched as each scene, new and old was added to the manuscript.  James and Chris Angela agreed that the tale would need to reach somewhere between fifty and seventy thousand words to be marketable and the two of them set out to continue expanding scenes, making them more visceral, fleshing out characters with more dialogue and backstory and adding scenes to relieve tension when needed or to add tension where the tale grew complacent.

When the fourth draft was complete it topped one hundred thousand words and in the opinions of the authors it was ready for the next step:  editing.

Chris Angela spoke to a former creative writing teacher about potential editors.  She put her in touch with editorialdepartment a company that she had used in the past with success.  While the authors began the process of talking with the editing company they took the time to go through the book one more time, mostly to fix any errors they could find, to fix any plot holes that had arisen between drafts and to generally examine each chapter and the scenes within to ensure that they either developed the characters or drove the plot forward.

They submitted the first five chapters of the book to the editing company and their contact there gave them some very encouraging and positive feedback.  The next step of the project is currently in motion as the authors prepare to have their current manuscript edited by professionals who will give them the feedback needed to move forward with their project.

6/1/16

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