Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What do you really expect?

Okay, so we all do it. We write and write and write, and then we have critique after critique after critique. Then we submit. So, yes, I know that’s the abridged version. But, that’s usually the process we all follow.

But, have any of us taken a short cut or tried to figure out how to speed up the process?
So, instead of finishing the piece you’re working on…you decide to submit, and maybe finish the piece while the multi-submission process is happening around you. Yes, I did it, and I know you’re all slapping yourself upside the head…going no, Angela don’t do it. I know. I know. Too late.

I did it, and I wondered why afterwards. Why did I submit the piece before it was finished? Did I think…I have tons of time, before they contact me—if they contact me—I’ll have it finished? Did I think…it doesn’t matter because no one will contact me? I think I believed the former, not the latter…at least I hope I did, but now , faced with a waiting editor, and a finished, but unedited manuscript…what do you (I) do. And will the piece be as good as it could be with more time and no pressure? I don’t know, but I definitely will try.

But, again, why? Why take the chance? Submission after submission received rejection after rejection, so shock and awe are the only way I can describe an editor asking me for a full manuscript within hours of a submission. I’ve been bouncing off of walls from excitement at the request, but biting my nails because my manuscript isn’t clean.

My question is…when you submit do you really believe it is good enough?

7 comments:

Jenny B said...

Great post, Angela.

Just when I think I've got my manuscript perfected, I find something else to improve! My crit partners really help.

I wonder if the whole process is smoother for a plotter than a pantser.

Grandma Vonnie said...

I did the same thing with my agent. I emailed her the first chapter, asking if she thought it was "too off the wall." She responded with a contract to represent it. But I'm only at 12,000 words, I replied. She didn't care; she said she'd wait. Of course, she's emailing me every week asking how it's going, what word count am I at. No pressure, she claims. Right, I think with an eye roll. Sometimes I think we do things like this to jumpstart our orderly lives, to spur us onward. Good luck to you...and isn't it thrilling when editors/agents want our work? As to your question, do we ever feel our manuscripts are ready for scrutiny, I'd say it depends on the day--NCD or CD's (non-chocolate-days or chocolate days). Enjoy the rush of writing.

Jill James said...

I did this once. I was so tired of writing a whole fricking book that no one wanted. So I pitched a book that was 1/3 of the way done. I came home and wrote 2/3 of a book (requested) in 2 weeks. My husband had to keep shoving me back in the office with "just another hour, just another hour." My arms were sore for a week afterwards, I couldn't move them after typing thousands and thousands of words a day for two whole weeks.

Natasha Moore said...

Obviously, a good part of me thinks my writing is good enough or I'd never submit. But there's always that part of me that thinks one of these days an editor or agent is going to figure out I'm just pretending to be a writer. :)

Good luck with your polishing!

Owldreamer said...

I have two finished manuscripts; one I'm doing revisions for the third time,because I can't seem to stop.Every time I read it I find problems or a better way to say something or I add a scene.My second baby, I'm doing my first revision. I'm not sure we can be objective about our own work.Or maybe it's just me.Maybe it is better to hand it to someone who can.I wish I had a writing buddy or very trusted friend to hand it to and say read and tell me what needs fixing. Not how they would write it,but just fix glaring grammatical errors and punctuation and point out plotting problems,etc.Hey I can dream can't I?

Angela Kay Austin said...

It makes me feel tons better knowing that others have done the same. Self-editing has been a huge problem for me since I began this journey...maybe there is a reason to do this after all ;-) To simply make you focus.

And believe it or not the polishing is coming along...thank goodness!

Joanne said...

Is a manuscript ever truly done? I've looked at mine a year later and start tinkering and changing.

Best wishes with your submission, though. That's great news.