One Ultra Wash For My Manuscript

washMy car had gotten to the point of no return. It was dirty both inside and out and was beyond what a few weekend hours could solve. I don’t do this more than once every few years, but I treated my car to one of those supreme ultra washes. It’s like a mini-spa for cars. They vacuum, polish, and make everything shine. It’s a brand new car when completed.

So I paid my $35 (with coupon) and prepared to wait the 50 minutes for the magic to happen. As I watched other cars getting their final rub-down, my thoughts wandered to where its been parking itself lately – back to the current story I’ve written. I envisioned my rough draft like the car. Not too long ago my 40,000 words also needed an ultra wash to show its true colors. Unfortunately, it takes longer than an hour to polish a manuscript.

Starting off, I let my first draft sit for a month before going in and making revisions. Let her sit for another 3 weeks before revisiting and strengthening. Then I sent it to a few trusted critique partners who completed reading in a week and sent me their notes. The feedback was positive with only a few minor concerns. One highlighted areas that needed more emotion (“You men always need a push to bring those emotions into your writing. Just do it and the you’ll see it works for the better.”), and the other had questions about maybe deleting one character.

I got off easy or maybe I’m catching many of the mistakes I’ve already made in the past. Still though it’s a long road. Two months to write and now two months into the revisions. I’m pleased with the progress but know its not quite sparkly enough to be driven off the lot yet. I’ll go through it one more time, and then let a new set of eyes look it over.

When I get to this point in a story’s journey I write a book jacket blurb. It helps me focus on the big picture of whether it sounds like a story I’d want to read. It’s almost as challenging as writing the story itself.



CK Kalani is an impulsive eleven-year-old whose passion is saving the earth. Throwing trash where you shouldn’t? Not cleaning up after your dog? Expect a late night visit from EARTH LOVER (CK’s self created alias) and a note urging you to respect Mother Earth. You’ll find the message attached to a three-foot high reminder of your polluting ways.

When CK’s mom signs him up for a mentor from Big Brothers, Henry, an environmental videographer from a local news station, is the perfect match. Henry discovers CK’s alter ego along with a better way for him to make a difference – taking on the powerful Parks and Rec director in hopes of stopping the city’s use of pesticides. Henry helps CK plan a rally to inform the citizens of Legacy Flats, but the director’s aggressive response intends to keep it from happening.

As the day of the rally nears, CK and Henry face more challenges – all seemingly caused by the park’s dishonest top man. There’s also an untimely family decision that could end CK’s friendship with Henry. If true change is to happen, CK must decide what is most important… saving the environment, his family, or the mentor he adores. With his reckless ways roaring back into high gear, CK won’t get the chance unless he first saves himself.





About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
This entry was posted in Editing, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to One Ultra Wash For My Manuscript

  1. Congratulations on your progress. The book sounds like a fun one. And congrats on getting your car squeaky clean and using a coupon. I am a bit of a coupon queen myself.

  2. sounds fantastic to me! fun characters, great plot. best of luck with this!

  3. Great–CK sounds like an interesting protagonist!

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