I spent the last three days down at the BYU University campus enjoying “The Life, Universe, and Everything” conference. May I just say “OH MY…what a wonderful conference. From 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM, Thursday, and Friday, and from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, I participated is mind boggling, educated overflowing workshops on the ART of writing, screenplay, and comics.
As a YA writer, I was in awe of some of the ‘names’ that have been where I am now and excelled. I learned what I needed to and what I needed to reconsider to do in my trilogy to boost it’s ‘saleability. ‘ I learned:
‘A man walks into a bar with his son’s head. He exclaims to the bar keep that it is his son’s twenty-first birthday. “Bring my son a drink of your finest whiskey.”
The father lifts the drink to his son’s lips and assists the boy as he drinks the deep whiskey. Before his eyes, his son’s body appears. “Wow!” The father declares in amazement. So he asks the barkeep for another drink. After giving it to his son, the son’s legs pop out. Again delighted and heavily in awe, he asks for another drink. He gives his son the drink and his arms pop out.
The father is so delighted with the results that he calls out again, “Barkeep, this time, since my son has his arms, he can drink on his own. Pass him another.” The boy, with uncertainty, lips the drink with his own hands and drinks. POP. The arms, legs and body disappear and the barkeep replies, “Sir, you should have stopped when you were a head.”
The moral of this story is, if you have rewritten and edited your manuscript more than six times, It IS DONE. STOP while you’re ahead. Get it out, query it until your eyes cross and then set it aside. Get started on your next book; let the first manuscript go. You can over do the rewriting until the manuscript doesn’t even resemble the ‘story’ you started out with and now, there isn’t an agent or editor anywhere that could represent it at all.
Take your story (and it is Your Story), write it, read it, edit and rewrite it. Send it off to a alpha reader. Make the changes. Send it to your beta reader. Fix what has alerted your Beta and then stick it in a draw while you query everyone you can find to send it to from either your Writers Market or QueryTracker.com and then get down to writing your next manuscript. If anymore changes are needed for the first book, let the interested Agent or Editor advise you.
We all tend to overdue looking for perfection. Perfection isn’t necessarily what you think it is. Lets face it, you are your worst critique.
Take a deep breath and have a great week. May your words flow like the muddy Mississippi.
Grand Mama (Doree Anderson)