As some of you know, I've been plugging along writing a YA novel. I anticipated completing it by the end of the summer and querying agents this fall to see if this story stands any chance of seeing the light of day beyond my computer screen. Well, I am definitely off my own time table. And let my tell you why.
As I complete a round of revisions, I print the entire novel and read the hard copy. I can't emphasize enough how important this is. My house may be scattered with papers, but it's a necessary step. You'd be amazed by what you catch reading the hard copy that you simply don't pick up when you read on a computer screen. I'm not just talking about typos, which seem to be there no matter how many times you read the darn thing, I'm talking about how the writer picks up on all the extraneous words, redundancies, phrases that don't capture the meaning you intend...I could go on and on.
I was no where near ready at the end of the summer. When I look at the version from that time, I shudder to think what would have happened if I had sent that work out into the world. My understanding of writing craft has grown tremendously over the past several months. So much of writing an effective novel is in the rewrite. And then rewrite again...and again...and...I think you get my point.
Some of my friends were like "Come on. You're still working on it?!?" You have to send it out already."
Au contraire. The worst thing you can do is send out your work prematurely. What's the point? So you sent it out. It's not at the level of refinement it needs to be and gets rejected all over the place. Usually, you only get one chance with an agent with a particular piece of work. Don't waste it jumping the gun because you're impatient. You haven't gained a thing and may be losing out on something big.
I don't know where my story will ultimately end up, but at least I know I did my best with it and whether it gets published or not, I can rest and be satisfied with that.
I'm an aspiring YA writer, working my way toward publication. I also love animals and this is a picture of one of the sweethearts in my life. Please do all you can to help and care for the animals of the world, especially the domestic ones. They depend on us to care. Love never goes out of style...