I’m finished! Maybe…

Hi everyone,

Time to put the finishing touches on a new nonfiction picture book. This is the one I mentioned last week that I’ve rewritten at the suggestion of an editor. No promises to publish; just an expression of interest.

Should I have changed this manuscript so drastically after only one editor saw it? Hard to say. Since I’ve been reworking this, three other editors turned down the original version. That helps me think I’ve done the right thing. I could send my revision to my agent this morning and probably will. Unless I decide to change it again.

In my experience, giving a manuscript that “last and final look” is a crucial point in developing a book. I think I’m almost done, but danger always lurks. What if I don’t like this after all? What if I pull at a loose thread and the whole thing starts unraveling? It can and does happen. Just when I think I’m about to share my work in the marketplace, some deep fault becomes exposed at the last minute.

I’m about to refill my cup, take a breath, and read this slowly, carefully, critically. The world won’t care if this ever gets published, but I will.

12 comments on “I’m finished! Maybe…

  1. my last two or three are always out loud and often to someone. Boy, does that make a difference. But it still (as we both know so well) doesn’t guarantee acceptance.

    • You are so right, dear friend. Reading aloud is what I’m doing right now. It does make a difference. XO

  2. David: I so appreciate this description of your process. I have the hardest time learning to be patient, to give my work time to either bloom or wilt. And the pulling of the string that could make it all unravel… that is a most helpful metaphor. Thanks!

    • Hi, Karen. I’m glad if this post is helpful in your own writing. Patience is usually in short supply in our profession. I’ll tell you tomorrow what happened today. Sigh.

  3. Thank you for this post. It is so hard to know when something is ‘done’. Is it ever really done? As you said – several editors rejected it, so you revised… in hopes that this editor will like it now. We revise, rework, and it is hard to know when it is ‘ready for submission.” And may still need to revise… I love the string metaphor, and Karen’s flower metaphor above… letting it bloom or wilt…

    • Hi, Yvona, and thanks for stopping by today. I always appreciate it. I’m glad you like today’s post!

  4. Oh and i also like “The world won’t care if this ever gets published, but I will.” (sorry, as often happens, i clicked ‘post comment’ and then thought of something else..

    • I know how that goes, Yvona. I’m a champion at thinking of something I should have said after it’s too late. It’s a good thing blogs are more accommodating.

  5. I find this post helpful, too. Knowing this happens among the best of us is some comfort. It’s just how it goes. And this is a good reminder to give that “last and final” look. I get the quotation marks. Thanks for sharing, David.

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