Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day Twenty-nine- How do you know when it's ready?

Whenever I finish a manuscript, I get so excited about it. It's like a new baby. It smells nice. It's not so much work yet. I'm all "rah rah" over it. Then, I send it out to betas, and I'm still excited. Then, I do the first rewrites after getting feedback--and I'm still sort of excited. Then, I send it out to different betas--and it's a little older, a little more complicated, and the buzz is gone. They send me back more comments, and it's less exciting. Plus, I've got a new baby or maybe several babies--because I'm psychotic. Eventually, I start looking back at this old manuscript--and reread it, and it's sort of exciting again--and maybe I do another rewrite. I can see the charm in it, and I think it's good, but it still feels cruel to query it, and I feel like it's too soon to let it leave the house. After all, it's still my baby--even if it's just mooching up time and drinking all the milk and sitting around the couch scratching its hairy pits.

So, Scorched is all sweet and cute right now. It's had all my attention, and it just seems adorable. It still has revision after revision after revision to go through. It might be a while before it's time to send out into the world and have people kick the crap out of it. Still, it just always feels too soon.

I know it's partly my OCD that is telling me it's not perfect... and I like the idea of perfect. I think Honor has gone through this about four or five times now--the revision process--possibly even more. Actually, definitely more. I finished Honor Among Thieves in April of this year, I think. I sent it to DAW in August. I sent it to the first agents in September. I still like Honor, but it's definitely not as fun to deal with as Scorched is right now.

For those of you that are doing NaNoWriMo--how many months of revision and so on are you anticipating before you might query it? How many revisions does it go through before you send it to betas? Anything else you always do before you even think about letting a manuscript fend for itself?


  1. OH--and "Beautiful Wickedness" from like two weeks ago--is part of a quote from Wizard of OZ. Anyone who didn't guess--put your hand on your cheek, draw back, and don't be afraid to slap with force. You should really be ashamed of yourself. You could have even cheated and googled. For shame, you didn't even cheat--and that's despicable.

  2. So you're saying you show favoritism among your babies? Or do you love them all the same-- but one gets a shiny new car for it's birthday and the other gets shoved out of sight when people come over.

    My stories are crushes... I always think it's true love at first, and then I realize the relationship is going to need work. A lot of work.

    In reference to your questions (even though I didn't officially do NaNo), I have NO IDEA how long it takes to get through revisions, or how many revisions I do before I send it to betas. With Sinister, I finished the first draft in October 2008, revised until about January. I started Wishmaker in February, finished it in June, didn't revise it because I don't know if it has what it takes to go the distance. I went back and revised Sinister some more. I started Fated in August, and here I am. Fated is a wip, Sinister needs work, and Wishmaker is a mess. All in about an eighteen month time-span.

    I knew the quote, yay!!