This is the last post in my "Challenge" series, and post-Blogfest of Death, so I'm looking for some new followers and subbers to stop on by and enter into this giveaway contest. It's as easy as leaving a comment, but I NEED A MINIMUM OF THREE COMMENTS to make this work, so spread the word! Any who comment on this post will be entered for the drawing, which will be determined by Random.org. You also have a choice of which prize you would like to receive. Please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you for your physical address.
Prize bucket choices are:
The Lost Years of Merlin, by T.A. Barron (2007 re-print edition)
Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight
On Writing, by Stephen King
Writing the Breakout Novel, by Donald Maass
Revision and Self-Editing, by James Scott Bell
So, we all know at some point when our manuscripts are complete. Other writers may have more difficulty determining this and continue to revisit their writing to polish and tighten. This is all well and proper in the discipline, but at some point, you must also swallow your pride of trying to make the manuscript better. Continuously polishing creates un-needed tension. A writer does not need this. But, wait, we've all heard that a first manuscript must impress. How else are you supposed to breakout if your manuscript is littered with grammar issues, those dirty adverbs and the infamous overuse of semicolons and ellipses?
More than one agent has blogged in the past that having the perfect manuscript in this format isn't always necessary. Yes, they will begin to lose it if the writing is blatantly ignoring basic rules, but a stray misspelled word and misplaced modifier won't kill you. They care about the quality of writing and the story you can tell. In the end, that is all that matters when it comes to making a sale to a publisher.
Beta readers and critique groups are wonderful, but not even they can catch everything. You will ask yourself, "I hope they caught everything," when it is not their place to do it, and ultimately, it is not even yours. This may go against everything you were told in school or how-to-write slush books (which by the way are fantastic), but do not drown in the mess of always polishing. I will admit I have done this, but I am finding my way through those dark waters.
The question whose answer being judged for the contest is this: How do you best swallow your pride in your writing? How do you know you are done and what method do you use to say, "I will not go back. It is the best it can be."
Remember, there is no best answer. All comments are subject to the random generator.
Thanks and enjoy!