Tag Archives: edits

How Do You Know When Your Manuscript Is Complete?

21 Jul

Editing Red Ink PenAs anyone who’s ever undertaken a creative endeavor knows—from drawing a picture or writing a poem to writing a corporate creed or even painting a room—the idea of being finished is highly subjective.

Technically, you could tinker with it forever. However, at some point it’s up to you to stop and say, “Yes, this is it. It’s done.”

In today’s digital world, that’s less of an issue. You can always edit a site, tweak your status, or repost a picture.

But with some things, like printed books, the result is a physical object that will be out there in the world, unchangeable.

That terrifying fact recently prompted me to ask some writer friends:

How do you know when your manuscript is complete?

Here are some of the answers I received:  Continue reading

Advertisements

Meet My New Friend

26 May

Patti Aaron OrcasA love letter to my beta readers

As I hit the send button, and my final manuscript zipped through the ether to my proofreader, I felt I should formally thank the most unexpected new friend on this book-writing journey…

Critique.

Do you wince at the word? At the beginning of this story, I would’ve. Hell, even six months ago, I would’ve. Humans tend to want the quickest, least challenging route from A to B, even if it’s not always the best. (Pro tip: Nine times out of ten, it won’t be.)

That’s why Critique sounds to many of us like nails on a chalkboard. It’s hard to hear. It slows you down and sometimes even send you in the opposite direction. It often requires change. At best, you need to rethink a problem. At worst, you practically need to rewire a part of your brain.

It’s hard hard work.

As a matter of fact, it’s so hard that many avoid it altogether, myself included. Just the idea of getting over that hump mountain to the other side makes people pursue every other route, from denial and excuses to apathy and even giving up.

But the truth is, there’s a paradise of possibilities beyond, and Critique is the only friend you can truly trust to get you there.  Continue reading