"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

IWSG: Letting a Manuscript Rest Before Editing

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?

MY ANSWER - It depends on my connection to the piece, my mood, and what editors are looking for at the time of completion. For example, one of the pieces I published with Chicken Soup for the Soul was actually a story I had written for another purpose some 20 years before, and edited multiple times. Another piece they published, I actually wrote and submitted a first draft to them  - and received an acceptance within a couple of weeks (this rarely happens). I have some manuscripts that have sat waiting in my desk, or computer, for a decade or more because I know they are not ready - and neither am I. Some manuscripts have been accepted almost immediately upon reception. I think there is a combination of confidence in the tale, your readiness to part with the piece as is, and an editors desires or needs, that determines how long until you edit, and how many drafts you need before publication.

How about you? How long do you wait before editing?


Leigh Caron said...

I like to edit as I go...but I've realized through the years that I have absolutely no perspective and cannot see all the errors when I do this. For manuscripts I can wait a week or so before the editing itch starts and I give in.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I like to edit like I go like Leigh, but I still have to do major revisions. I think your idea of doing what you need for each manuscript is a good idea.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

In other words, every story is different.

Helen said...

I like your comment about 'your readiness to part with the piece as is,' Maybe we sometimes beat a thing to death trying to make it perfect when we just need to let it go as is.

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