Figuring out what to do next with your novel—when to do something “next”—is perhaps even tougher than getting the whole thing down on paper. There have been more than a few times when I’ve been tempted to just get my manuscript out of my hands already. For example:
- Before it was finished.
- Before I’d reread it.
- Before I’d edited it once.
- After I’d edited it once.
- Before anyone else had read it.
- After I’d edited it twice.
- Before I’d done a thorough copyedit/proofread.
- When there were still a few plot points I didn’t feel lined up quite right (maybe an agent could fix that for me).
- When I knew one of the secondary characters wasn’t complex enough yet.
- When I’d read through the first six chapters so many times I couldn’t see straight anymore, and had no idea if they actually made sense.
- When I was feeling too impatient to take the step away that would remedy #10.
- When I thought the whole thing might be a lost cause, but it would be better to have someone else tell me that—on the off chance that I was totally wrong.
- When someone else I knew was published in one way or another and I felt like I was falling behind.
The list goes on.
Talking about writing a novel and writing a novel are two very different things. The phrase “easier said than done” comes to mind.
If you’ve experienced any of the above, stay tuned for how I knew that my manuscript and I were, in fact, ready.