Sunday, August 19, 2007

Polish, polish, polish

With partials in the mail, it's time for my "final" pass through my novel, Dreams of a Shaper. You'll note the quotes around final, and they're there for a good reason--I don't actually think I'm done. On that happy day when I get an agent and/or publisher, I expect more work for certain.

However, here final means I'm closing on the limits of what I can see to do myself. I'm finding typos, hastily disposing of unnecessary adverbs, and fixing occasional clunky sentences (often the result of prior editing), but by and large the pages say pretty much what I meant them to. I'm not a writer drawn to the eternal revising some find so attractive. I've already spent seven years with this book. Frankly, that's too long and I'm ready for something different.

But before I can wholeheartedly move to the next project, this last polish has to be done. I've got to look at it again, because the next person to see it after that will be an agent or publisher who's requested a full.

How do you finish off a long project? Are there any tricks you use to finally set it aside, or are you already prepared to move on once the first draft is in the bag?

1 comment:

Nathaniel (Nate) Hansen said...

Don't know who you're asking but I'll put in my two cents. The bottom line is that you have to find what works best. I know that isn't very flashy. Three different writers will each give 2-3 different answers to these questions.

I wouldn't feel comfortable starting a new novel manuscript until I have the current one exactly the way I want it. That said, I've already been thinking of some novel ideas (possibly a continuation of the present story, perhaps when Toby's 19 or 20) even as I'm working on completing a second draft.

To me, a true writer can never keep up with all the ideas that he or she has. Also, a writer writes through the fatigue, even as he or she is tired of the work in progress.

Hang in there, bro! Even as it might be difficult to motivate yourself to polish, polish, polish, later you'll be glad that you did.

Time for me to keep happily editing your manuscript.