Saturday, October 07, 2006

If I Don't Hear From Some of These People . . .

I'm going to scream!!! Well, not really, but I feel like I have been without news for a long time and it's frustrating. (sigh)
I have Partials that have been out for 3 months, 2 months, 7 weeks, 6, weeks, 6 weeks, 5 weeks and a couple that haven't been out long enough to fret over yet. But I also have a full that has been out for 5 months and another for four months.
As Homer Simpson says, "Aww, the waiting game sucks; let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!"
I am all up for the marble munching game right at this moment.
However, as you can tell from my woefully infrequent blog entries, I have been keeping myself very busy revising Symbiosis. I am reading it out loud (yes, all 145,000 words) and when I am done I will probably read it out loud one more time a little faster just top make sure it all still sounds right. Then it goes out to betas. Anybody want to be a beta? (laugh)
There was a post on yesterday in which some nitwit asked just how good a manuscript needed to be before you sent it out. He was like, "I know it still has some things I need to fix, but I want a professional opinion on it and besides, agents know manuscripts are going to need a bit of work, right?" I laughed out loud. I have definitely learned (from doing it the wrong way sometimes) that there will always be problems that you cannot see. But if you can still see problems and you think it's ready to send out, that is your biggest problem. You want your manuscript to be as perfect as you can possibly make it. The agent will find new things and make it as perfect as the two of you together can make it.
Now, as perfect as you can make it changes. For example, the manuscript I sent to Nephele four months ago was as perfect as I could make it at the time. But after getting some emotional distance from it and getting some great feedback from a really great beta online (I'm going to see if he'll beta for me again when I am done) I now have the capacity to make it better. Because of that, I would now consider it sloppy and lazy to send out the exact copy that was my very best work four months ago. Get it?
However, even though the book I have now is worlds better than the one I sent out half a year ago, it is still a far cry from my best work. I am about a fifth of the way through my first pass reading it out loud and polishing it. Then, as I mentioned before, I will take a second deep polish, then send it to betas, let their critiques sit for a while, then apply the ones I think will make it better. I will deep polish one more time and then . . . and only then . . . will I once again consider it my best work. Then it will be back out to agents and hopefully a better turnout this time. We'll see.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Much better this time. No typos. No hiccups in the blog. Apply this exercise to your novel drafts. Once, twice, thrice. Myself I'd gone through ten revisions in a span of two years. Not just editing but overhauling. Yes, hurt like having a root canal done. Cost money, too -- to get critiques. And then the waiting game. Try not to be so obsessed with the news, and not to fall into self-pity. A cool writer will become an author someday when the clouds break. They will always do. Just take longer. Ha!