19 July 2012

Weighty Waiting

We all know there's a lot of waiting involved with the writing process. Waiting for feedback, waiting for submission responses, and if you're lucky, waiting for publication...

But I think the hardest type of waiting is the type you're in complete control of. When we're waiting to hear back from others or for a fixed date, it's out of our hands. But when we are deciding whether our beloved WIP is ready to go out into the world, it's far more complicated. How many editorial passes should we do before querying? How many critiques are enough? How long should we let the novel rest before tackling revisions. Just how long is enough to spend before we launch our work into the world?

When we're in control of the process, it's so tempting to push our work out before it's ready. We're just so desperate to share it, to get some sort of feedback - whether that be from betas, agents, or the book-buying public. We feel as if we've worked on this WIP forever, and the temptation to share it can be overwhelming. It's like you're having a baby, but you decide how long the pregnancy will be. How much development is enough?

I don't have any answers, but I just wanted to share. In hindsight it's easy to see when we did launch something too soon. But when you're in the thick of it, your vision is far from 20/20.

How do you know when it's ready to give birth to your work?


  1. Good question. I wish I had the right answers. But here are some of my thoughts.

    Wait 6 weeks before starting revisions. Work on something else to "forget" what you wrote.

    3 line edits and 3 content edits before even thinking the work is ready to submit to beta readers/crit partners.

    After those come back, fill in the necessary edits and send out to one or two more beta readers.

    THEN it might be ready to query.

    As for crit partners, I have 3, one for typo's/punctuation/grammar. one for content and one just to beta read and to catch anything the other two missed. As for strictly beta readers with no comments, three also.

  2. Wow, you have this down to a fine art Anne! Thanks for the advice.