How the heck do you know when you’re done editing your novel or book?
I don’t know.
Honestly, I don’t know when you’re done because one day you’ll be like, “Okay, this is it. I’m done with edits!” Then the next day you’ll look at your manuscript again and realize that it could be so much better if you fix a few things. Just a few things. Then you’re switching stuff around, moving entire chapters, writing new scenes, and you wonder if the damn thing will ever be done.
I finished my novel. It’s been out for edits and came back with suggestions, which I’m working on now but I’m finding that there is still so much to do! Crap. I wanted to publish it by the end of October but that’s not going to happen. Whenever I hit this point in my writing and publishing process, I Google my butt off because I’m looking for answers, or at least a blog post about someone who has done it before and what they did or learned what NOT to do by making mistakes.
Jeff Goins has a great suggestion: The 5-Draft Method. I started using this toward the end of my revision process and wish I had known about it sooner.
Then there’s a great discussion on Nathan Bransford’s blog when he posed the question: How do you know when your novel is really finished? There’s all kinds of advice from quoting Leonardo Di Vinci: “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” to check lists to just getting plain sick of working on it any more.
The Sarcastic Muse ponders The LIfe Cycle of a Manuscript on her blog as well making it sound magical, and etherial. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that way right now about my manuscript.
I’m even following my own grammar tips, but this process is brutal. In an attempt to not get stuck in this editing quagmire, I’m working toward a new publishing deadline of November 21. If I just keep plugging through, a little each day, I’ll get there come Hell or high water. Just keep editing. Just keep editing.