Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When is Enough, Enough?

Oops! Just learned I missed my regular blog day. Apologies to all!

So, I thought I was through with my edits and ready to send my manuscript on, but wait, am I really? Having the luxury of emailing a manuscript is a gift to me, since it cost so much to print and mail one these days. However, I'm beginning to see the danger of it too, because I can't stop editing, fixing, reading. One more change here, one more read there, one more comma there and oh, be sure to delete the 'was' there. Sighing....When does it end?

This will be the first manuscript I've ever submitted that hasn't been read by anyone but me, so I'm even more cautious than usual. But still. When is enough, enough?

I've talked to published authors who say they never read their work once it's on the shelf because even then, they see things they'd like to change or tweak.

So what about you? When do you know that enough is enough and it's time to let go?


Anonymous said...

You’re not kidding, Christy. I was doing this same thing Monday. I had edited my first three chapters of Friendly Fire for the 150th time, had them ready to go out as different submissions all nicely wrapped in their sealed envelopes, then I made the mistake of looking at my query one more time before deciding I didn’t need two words. That in fact, they RUINED the entire query letter.

Ohmygod, how could I have made such a mistake?

I read it to my husband again and explained my error. I said, “Do you think I should pry those envelopes open and risk losing the postage to fix this?”

He gave me a weary smirk I should be used to by now, shook his head and muttered something about the original being just fine and that I was doing "that thing again."

Chime in here anytime, Linda R. (it’s almost all we talked about at the conference).

So, yes. I totally know what you mean. I make myself crazy with edits and I doubt I will ever stop. I think it's part of that thing called process.

Karen Beeching (who forgot her blog password again)

Christy said...

Karen, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't stop fixing things.

Also glad I'm not the only one who forgets their password. (grin)

JoAnn said...

I went to a book signing/reading once by a famous children's picture book author. I was so excited when she chose to read aloud my absolute favorite of her books, one that I had read to my daughters every night for the first years of their lives. I knew it by heart. I closed my eyes as she started to read... and then she gave a tiny little pause, and continued. My eyes flew open -- I wanted to shout "That's not how it goes!" And she did it all the way through the book -- nothing that anyone (who hadn't memorized the story)would really notice, but little differences. When she finished, she said something to the effect of "Some of you may have noticed that I didn't read it exactly as it was printed. I can't stop editing the darn thing!"
:-) So I guess it never ends!

jennifer echols said...

I think it was Genie Davis who said in her workshop at out conference that she knows a manuscript is finished when she starts changing her revisions back to the way she had it originally.