The Making of a Manuscript: The Table of Contents

8 Jan

I never thought I would get so jazzed seeing a Table of Contents. Of course, when it’s your own, things get a little more interesting.

The product of at least seven years of writing (good lord!), my manuscript has so far boiled down to 36 poems, 54 pages, and god only knows how many commas, periods and dashes. I’m particularly fond of dashes, these ones —, not these ones -.

I’m also especially enamored of verbs, as my writer friends out there know. These sprang up again and again: bristle, scuff, slough, swathe, sprout, startle. I ended up pruning where I could, swapping verbs for other, more unexpected ones.

Word for Mac also gave me some trouble in the beginning—I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to “insert” a table of contents. Luckily, I remembered how to format one manually from my graduate thesis days (see—that crap does come in handy).

This baby’s got to go out at the end of next week, so I’ll be printing and editing like a mad woman over the weekend. CityBoy’s even gotten into the act. He’s hard at work reading and commenting on a draft. What a good, good man.

I’m still dithering about titles and I’ve got a whole new list (thanks to some excellent feedback by the wondrous Ms. Formosa, but the ones I’m leaning towards the most are: Ready the Magnifier and Where His Chair Stood. Who knows what my marrow will choose. I keep reminding myself that this is my first shot (out of how many tens? hundreds?) so as not to hyper-ventilate.

I’ll keep you posted.

Rock on, people.

– Jho

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3 Responses to “The Making of a Manuscript: The Table of Contents”

  1. Tita Nene January 9, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    I am very proud of you. Your hard work will bring you great success. God bless you and say hello to “city boy”. Take care.

  2. Ja'net Danielo January 10, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Go you!

  3. jhointhecity January 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    Thanks, guys. Your encouragement is much appreciated. I’m about to send off the manuscript. Three different contests – let’s see if I get any bites!

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