Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stop the insanity!

So, I have a confession to make. I’m neurotic—sort of. I’m a perfectionist. I hate to make mistakes. Because of that, and the fact that the voices in my head never seem to shut up, I’m a compulsive reviser/editor of my manuscripts. I can pick at a manuscript forever and never be totally happy with it.

I’ve been working on book two of the series for which book one is currently on submission to editors. (Did that make any sense?) Anyway, I’ve made some minor changes to book one as issues came up in book two. Mostly setting up characters or situations for a smooth dovetail between the two books. Other than that, I’ve tried to pretend the first manuscript doesn’t exist so I’ll stay the heck out of it.

So, my question to you: When do you stick a fork in your manuscript? When do you stop editing and call it done? I’ve read agent blogs that say: “when it’s perfect” but in my world, perfect doesn’t exist. I can edit out all the typos, grammatical errors, etc, but that doesn’t stop my characters from coming up with some new, really witty line that I have to add, or some really cool new scene from popping into my head in the middle of the night. When do you stop?

Please make me stop!!!


  1. Stop! (They're just going to make you revise it when an editor picks up your project, which no doubt they will soon!!) In the mean time keep an ideas file where you can safely tuck those perfect lines and cool new scenes for when they're needed.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Andrea. And for the sanity check.

  3. An ideas file sounds like a great idea!

    And try to keep busy on that WIP. I can't wait to see it :)

  4. Suzie--

    It's getting there, and you and Andrea will get it first. :)

  5. It takes a conscious effort to stop. Right now I'm doing the final edits, correcting typos really, before my ms goes out on submission. New ideas pop in all the time, and I have to tell myself, leave it be. And, it's not easy.

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  7. Paul--

    You're a bigger man than I...well, mostly cuz I'm not a man... But your attitude sounds much healthier than mine.

    Happy hunting on the edits, and good luck with submission!