Question: How do I order the various pieces of prose and poetry in my Love Like Yesterday Didn’t Happen manuscript?
As always, a good place to start is by asking Google.
After some misses, I eventually stumbled upon this very aptly titled article by April Ossmann: Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript.
She suggests various ordering strategies that I intend to use on my manuscript. However, before implementing any of those strategies, she begins her article with a listing of several steps she (as an editor) takes, to select the strongest poems and separate them by themes and subjects.
These are the steps she mentions:
1.) Read the manuscript and give each poem a grade: check-plus, check, or check-minus.
2.) Set the check-minuses aside.
3.) Deciding whether checks can be edited up to check-pluses.
4.) Set the checks aside if there are enough check-pluses to create a book-length manuscript.
5.) Reread the poems and list for every poem;
> the theme(s)
> the subject(s)
> the repeated words or images
6.) Separate the poems into piles based on;
7.) Count the number of pages in each pile
8.) Note how many of the strongest poems landed in each pile.
9.) Use that information as one of multiple guides to a successful ordering strategy.
Can’t wait to try this out.