I missed writing a blog post last week because I was busy editing my novel-in-progress. I thought my draft was finished, but a glance at Chapter 1 set me tinkering with it. I looked at Chapter 2 and found that needed working on, too. And then the truth dawned on me. The whole manuscript, which I had put aside for months, was nowhere near finished.
For the past two weeks I’ve had my head down, expanding, cutting and re-structuring, sometimes working till after 3am. Every chapter needed some editing and several needed completely dismantling and re-writing. At one point I couldn’t see where it was going (and considered the bin). Amazed and horrified, I kept asking myself, how could I ever have thought it was finished?
I’m pleased with myself now. I feel I’ve improved it a lot. I’m telling myself I’ve written a damn good novel. BUT . . . I’m wondering if I leave it aside for a while and then look at it later, will I have to ask myself again: How could I ever have thought it was finished?
So how do we know when it’s time to stop the revision? How do we know when our baby really is grown-up and ready to face the world?