View Full Version : Inability to Submit

08-31-2005, 03:08 AM
This must fall under dejection, since there's been no rejections as of yet. Either that or lack of brass ones. I finished one of my novels three months ago, including rewrites, edits, whole chapters scrapped, beta readers, changes.

It's been passed around the gym I work at (in fact, I can't get it back). Good reports, a few things in need of polish, simple stuff, dropped words and such. But everytime I sit down to write that synopsis and queries, I can't. I work on the other books, I turn on the tv, I get in the pool.

I don't know why but I seem to be derailing myself. I keep saying one more edit, one more polish. Is it possible to over edit or rewrite too much, like a painting you keep touching up?


08-31-2005, 09:52 AM
Yep, it was for me. After my third edit, and after the 10th read and got fed up and sent it. It's not perfection--but I wasn't about to let it give me a nervous breakdown. Now I'm waiting for that all important first rejection to I can GET OVER THAT HUMP!

Send your baby out in the world. Now. When you get some feedback from a real editor/agent, then go ahead and dive right back in.


08-31-2005, 04:57 PM
Tiny Terror, that sounds very familiar to me.

I have been writing novels since I was 5. I have over 20 written. The reason I nave never tried to get any of them published is that I suck at revision. I would soooo rather veg in front of the TV. I'd even rather wear a meat necklace in a cage of rabid pit bulls.

I think we're all under the assumption that writing the book is the hard part, and revisions should be easy. They're not! They're just as hard, if not harder. And yes, you can edit too much. Just get it to the point that your trusted critters enjoy it, and then send it out! Someone on this board told me that if we all waited for our babies to be perfect in our eyes, nobody would be published....which is true! So make those final edits, send it out, and see what happens.

Good luck!

08-31-2005, 05:45 PM
Books are not written -- they're rewritten. Get over yourself, sit down and do the revisions with an editor's (not writer's) eye. Distance yourself from it (set your ego aside). And get to work.

But if you have a problem with revising it to death, then STOP. Start sending it out. It won't do you any good if nobody's ever going to see it. Trust me, there will be time and opportunity to edit it again (once I got my contract and started the editing process with the editor, I must have gone through the thing a few hundred times).

Trunk novels are great for practices. But if you don't send it out, no one will ever read it.

09-01-2005, 04:41 AM
Send out the query.

Unless you have a single publisher in your eye who absolutely must publish the book, what does it hurt if the first publisher who sees it rejects it? I find a rejection from a publisher concentrates my mind wonderfully. The flaws in the manuscript become apparent and I can see it with something closer to an editor's eye.

So here's my advice - either sit on the book for two months and totally don't think about it OR send it out.

And hey, good luck.

09-01-2005, 05:42 AM
Thanks much guys. I have been sitting on it for a while. Synopsis hell is my destiny I guess.


09-02-2005, 12:55 AM
Understanding! 2 novels working on #3. Can't write a synposis. Tried. Wound up watching... Entertainment Tonight!!!!!!! ARRRUUGGHHHH

David McAfee
09-03-2005, 12:50 AM
Am I the minority here? I enjoy revising. As long as I am working on the book and not rotting away in from the Boob Tubaroo, I feel like I am accomplishing something. I always think to myself that I am making it better, which is definitley a good way to spend my time. :)

09-03-2005, 01:12 AM
I like revising and polishing. What I hate is synopsis writing.


09-03-2005, 04:23 AM
I think too many people frame synopsis writing negatively. What is it really? A chance to SELL your book! Take it. Be grateful. How many people actually want to hear the outline of your book? (Don't tell me the woman at the bus stop was interested. She wasn't.) Look at it like an interview - this is your chance to brag. You're going to show off the quality of your story and your writing.

Ok, did the pep talk help? Can someone return the favour - I hate synopsis writing.

Cathy C
09-03-2005, 08:49 PM
This is actually a complaint that many writers have, tiny terror. Something you might consider is to find a friend who is good with business stuff and have THEM write the synopsis and send it out. See, novel is to synopsis as cat is to banana. They're different skills, and that's probably what's throwing you.

You get a post office box and the other person checks the box. If you never see the rejections, they don't affect you, and the book gets out there. This is how I originally started to work with my present co-author -- in sort of a "business manager" arrangement. She had three filing cabinets full of writing, and I just couldn't bear not to have her make money from it. Not selling a story is almost obscene to me.

At first, we set up a deal where for 5% of any income, I'd handle sending out the letters according to the publisher/agent guidelines and then notify her if anything came in. I was sort of a "pre-agent" (actually a glorified secretary.) But as bad rejections gave way to good rejections and then requests for partials, she started to get over the fear of it. Then we decided that two heads were better than one and started to write together 50/50. :D

Just something to think about... :)

09-03-2005, 09:25 PM
I have to agree. It's very hard at the beginning to send your work out into the wilds of publishing. I remember my hand shook when I addressed that manilla envelope for the first time and slipped it into the mail slot. It does get a a little easier with time. And yes, when I rip open my SASE a few weeks or months later, my hands shake again. Still happens.

Writing a synopsis? Agghh! Worse than having a tooth pulled without novacaine. Well, maybe not as bad....

09-03-2005, 10:50 PM
Cathy has a good idea. If you serious do not want to deal with the business side or are no good at it (query, submission, etc. all relate to the business), then get someone else to do it. Your business partner? Your business-savvy spouse? An assistant? And if you can't afford it, try profit sharing... The ideal case is, of course, you can do both -- the creative and the business sides of publishing, but not all people can do both and do them well.

We do have to realize it IS a business. Otherwise, it's just a hobby and you can do whatever you want. But if you want to succeed in publishing, you must take care of the business side, and if you're no good at business, get some help.

09-04-2005, 12:50 AM
Actually, I had a pottery business for several years before I became a self-defense instructor, so the business side is no problem.

Being flighty, now there's my problem.

On a better note, I went out and got supplies for sending out queries and synopsi, and started writing both for not only the book I've finished but the one I'm currently halfway through.


09-16-2005, 06:17 AM
Sometimes you gotta JUST DO IT! :) Good luck.

10-08-2005, 09:08 AM
Chris right after you read this sit down and write your synopsis and queries. Don't let your dream be put on some shelf, because if you do that it dies right there and then. What’s worse giving it your all and failing, or just giving up? If you don't send it then what separates you from someone that never even finished one chapter? I think the problem is more about fear then not being good at doing a synopsis, you should be more afraid of stopping now.

Come on do it! If you came here for permission to quit, you won't get it! Now get to work!

10-28-2005, 04:48 AM
it takes courage indeed to send stuff out.

here's my attitude on "when is it ready to send?": a time comes when i feel a significant diminishing return set in, as well as an awareness that it will never ever be perfect, so i just tell myself the time has come to let it go. that i must move forward now. and i do. i send the stuff out.

also, i believe that if the stuff is truly good, an agent isn't gonna not contact me because of very minor details.

if you were an agent and you liked the esence of something, would you care about occasional grammatical errors, etc.? i wrote a 284 page novel. every damn time i read it i wanted to change something, finally i just let it go. it's published now.

10-30-2005, 08:41 AM
Yes sending things to publishers or magazines sucks. I hate it. I hate everything about it as a writer. I like rewriting and anything to do with the work, but everything else disinterests me while I'm writing. I still do it though. Usually I go out and look at as many books as I can that I admire and read stories about how the work was published. This gives me a type of nostalgia. I think it puts me back in reader mode. I love books old ones new ones (my wife yells about me buying too many). Once I put myself in reader mode it seems easier to send stuff out. In my opinion it is an addiction on both sides. That feeling of creation is addictive, but so is the feeling of having other people read your work. Both highs seem to serve different masters.