Friday, October 12, 2012

The Most Interesting Thing: When to Send

"Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure." - Oliver Herford
Okay, okay. I know this antelope has nothing to do with submitting manuscripts, but we saw her yesterday and DH snapped her picture and I just couldn't resist posting her here. ^_^
So the BIG question that all of us face, whether we're newbies or oldbies: when is our WIP ready to be queried, or sent to our agent, or sent to an editor, or ready to go to print? I've said it before and I'll say it again: I could revise a manuscript every day for a hundred years and still find ways to make it better. Maybe I exaggerate, a little, but seriously, that's how I feel. So when do you let it go? Mr. Herford teaches a very important lesson in his humor. We never want to send our manuscripts in haste, right? And how many of us have stories of having done just that?
***Angelina raises her hand***
So my dear writers, how do you know when your sparkly novel is ready to be sent?

30 comments:

  1. I can't answer this question. I feel my MS are never ready, which is why I let them sit there. Lol

    The perfectionist is me is irritating sometimes.

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  2. When I can't stand to look at it anymore and it reads fluid and beta reader comments are minimal. But like you and Miranda I could tweak forever.

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  3. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so if I had my way my books would *never* be ready to send. But I finally ship them off after they've been critiqued multiple times (by 3-4 CPs and, now, my agent) and if I can read through the book and find only minimal changes. After a while I stop really seeing the book, or I overanalyze it too much and second-guess everything and risk taking out stuff that should be there. That's when I just let it go.

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  4. I'm of the opinion that no matter what you do, you will always send too soon. It seems to be the law of writing and a by-product of your own enthusiasm. It's not such a bad thing.

    Seriously though, I guess I send when I can't think of any other way to change things. Or I start changing things back and forth between two alternatives, not able to make up my mind about which one is better.

    When I'm ready to slap myself, I guess. Yeah, that's it.

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  5. Like Jaye Robin said, when I can't stand to look at it anymore. But, based on my rejection rate, that's obviously not the right test for me. ;-)

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    1. Sometimes you have to put it away for a few months before looking at it again, right?

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  6. When crit partners say it is. When I know in my gut I've made it as good as I can on my own. When I'm heartily sick of it. When those converge, out it goes.

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  7. Great pic!

    I say send it when you've gone through at least 6 betas (and the subsequent revisions) and it's line edited. :)

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  8. I tend to revise and revise and revise, but when I get to the point where the ms conveys what I am trying to express, yet I am debating about the placement of a solitary comma for 40 minutes -- well, then it just needs to go.

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  9. I don't know for sure, since I haven't felt done yet, but I think if I think I'm done, then I put it away for a while, and when I read it again I really enjoy it, then maybe it will be ready then.

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  10. I definitely queried too soon with my first project, almost didn't even query my second one, and now I think I'll be overly neurotic before sending the one I'm working on now. You're right. There's always something I could fix, but I do know that as long as big issues are resolved and the only thing I'm tweaking are copy editor things, then I should send it out.

    Great post! Have a great weekend!

    Also, LOVE the pic!

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    1. Is there anyone who hasn't queried too soon?

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  11. Ah what a great question to ponder. My answer, I don't know *shrugging shoulders*. I wrote a picture book last year, had to critiqued, revised, critiqued and revised and revised and shortened, until I thought (key word here) it shined like a star. I queried it (with full text) in May to 9 well-researched picture book agents. I heard back from ONE of them, a kind-personalized rejection. One agent took the time to respond. So maybe it wasn't / isn't ready.

    The sucky part, is instead of reworking it again, I just move on, and on, and on to new projects. Talk about writers ADD.

    They (articles and such) say that a project is done when you can't seem to rework it any further. When all of your betas or CPs have read it and handed it back with smiles. When there is not one more word you can tweak.

    Btw, I miss chatting with you!! Twitter got overwhelming for me, with all the people I din't know and never conversed with me. I do miss the wipmadness group, but a couple of them are on FB. FB seems to move at a much slower pace, and managing my 60 friends / pages I've liked seems so much easier for me. I'm trying to check in here on your blog 1x week, but I know I've missed some. Anyways, wanted to let you know I think about ya. :))

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    1. Miss you, too! Thanks for stopping by. . . I stopped by your blog and commented with my alter ego. ^_^

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  12. Sorry. had IT critiqued. 3rd sent. :/

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  13. Excellent question. I guess you send it when you can't make it any better and your crit buds say SEND IT!

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  14. I'm still trying to figure out when to send it. Sometimes, you just have to trust that it's ready and just try it. That's where I'm at. I'm taking a risk, but risks are sometimes worth it.

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