Wednesday, 9 November 2011

When To Stop Editing

As you know, I'm in that final push mode with my manuscript. I've polished and checked and polished some more, but I'm now wondering if I'm so close to it am I going to make a complete hash of it? I'm not sure which way is up anymore, or if I alter something, I wonder if I will take away what was good about it?

At what point do you know to stop editing? I imagine we can't be fully happy. Or can we? Is there a point when you know it's ok to let it go and genuinely believe that or are we doomed into an ever decreasing circle of editing?

I'm so close to this manuscript now that it feels a part of me. How do you let a part of you go?

And when you do, what happens then? You give it to someone who's going to pass an opinion on it.

*runs off to hide at this point*

Do we ever get too close or if we're still polishing it, does that mean it still needs it or are we polishing the nice shiny bit off?

When do we know it's time to let go?


  1. My opinion? Put it down. Give it to someone else to read, someone you trust. Get their honest opinion - is it good? And if it is then submit!
    I don't think you can polish the shiny off your book, but you can polish the shiny off your enthusiasm, and you really need that!
    Good luck!

  2. I agree with Claire. If you're asking the question, it's time to let go and let someone else have a look :-)

  3. Yes, I agree with the other comments - time to put it aside, have someone read it, or maybe start on the synopsis. It sounds like it's time to move on to the next phase!

  4. I'm no expert as I am still in the writing phase, but I think Claire and the others are right. It sounds like you are ready to move on to the next phase! I can really relate though, it's hard for me to stop editing anything. When I submitted an article for publication I must have edited it 500 times, and it was only 500 words!

    Good luck and congrats on all the great progress you have made on your manuscript!

  5. It's so hard to know when to let your work go for a bit, but it's so important to do so. My advice? Write it, edit it and then let it simmer. Set it aside for a week or so and then come back to it and give it a final read. Then pass it on to your betas and wait:)

  6. It is time for you to let it go now. Once it is accepted by an agent / publisher you will have to do more editing, now matter how much you have done before that point. Looking forward to reading it though so I hope you get a publishing contract soon!

  7. I think you're all right, thank you. Today is going to be my last day flicking through it before anyone else reads it. A terrifying thought but it was the destination, so it looks as though I'd better get off at this stop and see what happens :)

  8. When you hit that point there really IS only one thing you can do, and that's get away from it. The best choice is to get it to someone else to edit - whether that's an agent, an editor, someone you hire, a (very) talented friend whatever. Alternatively, it needs to go in a drawer for a month or two, until your brain can get away from it for a while.