I've been so busy through the summer break with releases left right and center (check my amazon page for the latest - vampires, zombies, Irish pubs... the list is extensive). It's been very exciting, and I love the online buzz my new releases have generated. I've just had my tenth book with Decadent Publishing accepted, and that will be my last release for 2012 (Hot Winter Kiss, Irish Kisses book 4). I'm now working on three new projects, with new arsenal in my thumb drive; during the past year with all that writing, submitting, and editing, I've learned a very valuable lesson on what I NEED to do before I send in a submission.
I’m an impulsive person by nature. I get to a point where I think I couldn’t possibly edit my manuscript anymore, but that desire to end it all and hit send is often overwhelming. I find myself having to walk away from the computer, chewing at the cord wanting to hit send.
Nathan Bransford’s--if you’re a writer, you should know this blog. If you don’t, go subscribe NOW--blog post by about revision fatigue got me thinking...and nodding my head in agreement.
“There comes a point when you think the book is a colossal, irredeemable mess and you can't for the life of you figure out if it's actually any good or not.” -- Nathan Bransford
Yes, I thought, I am not the only one. I am not a Highlander; well, there can be only one of those.
When I think my story is a mess, I let it sit for a while and go back in for more edits a few days later. It’s after that process that the ‘hit send’ urge hits me.
Maybe it could do with another edit? Maybe there’s a plot point that has a gap, or maybe I forgot to check continuity with a fine tooth comb and missed something. Those are all questions that used to race through my mind after hitting send.
I’ve since learned a neat little trick that keeps me distracted until the book is ready for submission. I mean actually ready, not almost ready.
I now have a check list of all my writing weaknesses, and I make myself go through it if I get a sudden urge to hit send. Search and find for my big no-no words, checking eye and hair color, double checking location research and whatnot. and cliches. I’ve got a long list of those to check for. By the time I’ve finished checking, another full round of edits have taken place because I typically find more ‘little’ things along the way. I can see then that it's almost there, but not quite. It's almost like you've got fresh eyes on the project after running through a checklist on it. Another round of edits takes place and then I typically feel 'right' about sending it in with hopes of getting a resounding YES from an editor.
I've found this to be a useful program; AUTO CRIT wizard - free trial . It doesn't replace beta readers and critique partners, but it does give a cleaner look at where things could be improved technically.
What do you make sure to do before you hit ‘send submission?’
Got any tips to share?
By JoAnne Kenrick [www.joannekenrick.com ]
Bestselling author of romances, both contemporary and paranormal.
Grab Dracula’s Kiss this October; a Decadent Publishing 1NS story set in actual Scottish castle ruins that inspired Stoker when writing Dracula. A tasty treat not to be missed this Halloween! Available to purchase for just 2.99 at your favorite e-book stores.