Monday, June 11, 2012

Why Is Waiting Always the Answer?

My spouse and the friend who edited my book of short stories years ago convinced me not to let my agent read the novel yet. The argument: "You are so close to nailing this thing, why waste a non-perfect read on him." I am eager to get this ball rolling (after 15 years of false rolls), but I took the manuscript back and asked Secret Agent Man to hold up on reading. I figure, these are my peeps, closest to my work, but with more perspective than I have, so I'm going with their advice.  It's always a hard question: when to give a manuscript out to read and when to hold it back? I am impatient and always send stuff out too early.  Not this time, though. I'm not going to let myself get in the way. In good news, though, three readers (including spouse and friend/editor) have started reading the new first-person version and they think it's just what the novel needed. Phew!  That's my news for today.  What's happening with you mice?  Any advice about timing and when to send something out?


Laura Maylene said...

Your spouse and friend are correct. It's best to just wait, especially if you are currently working on it and/or suspect there's something else that needs to be changed.

I've gone through this multiple times (I think every writer has) and as damn impatient as I might be in the beginning, if I wait 3-6 months I'm kicking myself for not being patient enough to just wait until a better version is ready.

Besides, if you have already waited 15 years, what's another few weeks or months?

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that you set a time limit beyond which you don't wait ... otherwise months turn to years, and you know the rest. Having ruined my first novel's chances with my impatience, I will still give myself a fixed time for revisions and rewrites after completing my second novel. I am no spring chicken, y'all, and mortality looms ever larger.

Cari Hislop said...

I'm at the end of a book I've been writing over the last four years and the other month I was reading through the first few chapters (for the umpteenth time)and I finally accepted that the faint boredom I had reading that chapter was my gut telling me it wasn't right. I reworked the scene and I felt this internal sigh of relief. My story had been waiting years for me to get the message and fix the problem. Other people's perspectives are important in the fine tuning stage (they see things we don't), but when it comes to writing the right story we need to listen to our feelings.

I think writers should feel happy and at peace with the whole story before handing it to an agent. It's the agent's job to sell a story, not write it. Only the writer knows if their story really is right. Trust your feelings! It will be good.

Emily Saso said...

I am in this exact spot right now. I'm taking this blog post as a sign from the gods to slow the heck down.