Coach Teresa asks: “What to do when you are asked to change your script or manuscript?”

In 1999, after receiving helpful comments on my 350-page manuscript Love Made of Heart from three generous colleagues (Luisa Adams, Martha Alderson, and Susan Canale), I plunged into rewrites.

I remember my sitting at the computer keyboard . . . and letting narrator Ruby Lin take over the story-telling.  I paid attention and transcribed.

In 2000, my agent  Stacey Glick at Dystel Literary Management (now Dystel & Goderich Literary Management) asked me to make the mother-character Vivien Lin  in my novel “more accessible.” So, I asked my protagonist Ruby Lin and her mom Vivien for help.

The answer I received (from these two muses) was . . . “Show the mother not only as the parent-archetype but also as the maiden-archetype.”

To make this kind of change (affecting character arc and plotline), I had to rewrite many scenes.

My colleagues’ comments and Stacey Glick’s request had compelled me to tell a “deeper” story.

Then editor John Scognamiglio at Kensington Publishing NY asked me for more rewrites . . .  I’ll save that story for another blog post :)

Love Made of Heart inspires adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families

Fast forward . . .  Love Made of Heart is read in colleges and universities.  My job as author is to welcome discussions about the themes and using the themes to spread awareness. Here’s my mission statement:   I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, use Love Made of Heart to inspire adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families.

I am forever thankful to the folks who had asked for “changes.” I am forever thankful to my muses and my own common sense for guiding me through rewrite.

* * * * * * * *

When a client seeks my advice about rewrites, the first questions I ask are these: 

“What does your protagonist want most?”

“Does she/he get what she/he wants at the end of the story?” and “If your answer is ‘no,’ then, what does she/he gain at the end of the journey?”

You rewrite to make your story flow.  You rewrite some more until your story flows.

I love editing my clients’ manuscripts. I love helping them identify themes, universal archetypes, front-story and back-story.

to sneak preview the exercises for Day 1, go to Amazon books

Even when I’m wearing my other hat  . . . as Platform-Building Coach Teresa, I remind clients about rewrites . . .

“What is your website or facebook page saying about you?”  “What is your signature block saying?”  “What is your phone’s outgoing-message saying?”

* * * * * * * *

playwright Teresa LeYung-Ryan (Answer Me Now), actress Stacey Marie Kerr, director Lennie Dean invite you to the Redwood Writers 10-Minute Plays at 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa, CA June 29, 30 and July 1, 2012

Recently I was asked to make changes to my short-short play Answer Me Now (a monologue) that had won an award from the Redwood Writers Playwriting Contest.   As a matter of act, Director Lennie Dean asked me for changes on three occasions.  My initial reaction on all three occasions was oh no.  However, the internal-processing each time (a matter of seconds) lead me to answer my own question “Will rewriting/cutting lines… make the piece flow ‘better’?”  The answer was “Yes!”

If you are going to be near Santa Rosa, CA on July 29, 30 or July 1st, please come by 6th Street Playhouse and see and hear the results of rewrites.

For more information about dates and times, please click here.

For tickets, please click here.

Redwood Writers winning playwrights with directors and actors invite YOU to 10-minute plays June 29, 30, July 1, 2012 -- photo by Jonathan Hayden

For bios of all the playwrights, please click here.

For tickets to:  Workshop with GARRET JON GROENVELD
Debunking the “Write What You Know Myth” – 10-Page Plays and Unlimited Potential    July 1, 2012, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM
6th Street Playhouse – GK Hardt Theatre
Tuition: $10.00 – purchase by phone  (707) 523-4185 ext. 1


Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Teresa LeYung-Ryan helps clients identify themes, universal archetypes, front-story and back-story in their manuscripts.

“I love helping writers build their platforms and published authors fortify theirs with individualized coaching.”

As coach and author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW, she says: “Make your name synonymous with the issues you write about.”

Teresa has built her own platform happily; her novel Love Made of Heart and her short play Answer Me Now carry the theme closest to her heart: mother-daughter relationship.

Teresa created the annual “Immigrant Experience Writing Contest” and cheers for all contestants.  for her Blog, events, and other resources.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to my blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner