View Full Version : Revisions...how far should one go?

07-13-2006, 01:28 AM
Hello, it's me again.

I was just wondering how far should one go with the revisions, before sending out a query letter. (they require that the ms be completed before sending a query). My ms is complete, but I am not sure it is completely polished. Should I polish it myself before sending it out or wait and see what the editor says in that case. Any suggestions?

07-13-2006, 03:40 AM
Polish it to the best of your ability before sending it out--having friends who are critical readers is a big help, too, as they'll catch things you'll miss. It's a competitive business, and the more your manuscript shines, the better chance you'll have.

Good luck!

07-13-2006, 07:02 AM
I agree. I had finished my manuscript, thought it was really good, sent out some queries and had a couple agents nibble. (Yay me!) I was then asked for the partial and synopsis. I wrote the synopsis and asked the opinion of someone I hold in high regard what she thought. Er, the story was okay, but not quite right. So I had to quickly rewrite what needed to be done for the partial, think how I wanted the rest of the story to go and get it out. It...took...a...month. This was after the request. Scratch that...it was after 2 requests! So, it really is in your best interest to make your story shine and have someone who knows what makes a great story pick it apart. ;)

07-13-2006, 05:20 PM
What Marlys (hi, Marlys!) and Sonarbabe said. Make sure you're satisfied with your work before you hop on the query-go-round. Second-guessing yourself after your query is out there is enough to make you run, screaming in terror, every time there's a request. "But which version do I send?" Gah. Been there, done that. Avoid the guesswork. Don't query until you're ready. (Ooh, a pseudo rhyme!)

How do you know when it's ready? Me, I like to walk away from a work, then come back to it after, say, a week, then give it a clean read. If it reads smoothly, and I'm only somewhat tempted to tweak words, then it's ready. If I find myself rewriting entire paragraphs...er, not so much. :)

07-13-2006, 06:39 PM
Get a beta reader (two or three if you can find 'em) to tell you what's wrong with it.

Knowing what's wrong with any work is way better than all the ego-boos in the world.

Polish the best you can. Send it out.


If someone LIKES that first one they WILL want more from you and fast.

After two years of queries I finally sold that first book--but I'd finished two others and started a fourth. Good thing too, since I was offered a 6 book contract.

Working on another book a) keeps your head from exploding during the turnaround; b) helps you learn more on the craft.

Writing is like playing the piano, you get better only with practice.

Having finished books waiting in the wings tells the editor/agent that you're serious about the craft and not just a one-book fluke. ;)

07-13-2006, 10:30 PM
Make sure you're satisfied with your work before you hop on the query-go-round.

Yes indeed. I have been driving myself nuts rewriting over and over. Then I had a few beta readers take a look and rewrote more!
Next time I will not pass go--and give it directly to a beta reader.;)