I’m going to try and broach a topic that I don’t really have the answers for. In fact, I’m hoping that you will. *waves at new followers from Ilima's amazing blog*
When are you ready to let your novel go?
I’ve been doing this for a while now and have yet to even attempt to look for an agent. Of course, that has always been my goal, but I feel like I might never be ready. I write, re-write, polish, get feedback fro crit partners and BETA readers. Agonize. Re-write. Polish. Send out again…. You get the idea.
So when is it ready?
I went to this conference and met Jeff Stone who is the MG author of the Ancestors’ Series. Someone asked him the same question and his response was interesting to me. He said something to the effect that if you are getting different responses from five different people, then take those responses seriously, but—ultimately—go with your gut. But, if you’re getting the same feedback from five different people…well…you’d better listen.
So I recently had some experience with this. At our Critique Writing Retreat my crit partners sat me down and, very lovingly, had an intervention about my first chapter. My first chapter that I had re-written, tightened and was married to. I fought back, grasping at straws, amazing first sentences and witty dialogue, but eventually, I realized they were right. And the fact that all of them had the same advice, well, I knew I’d better listen.
So I did.
And it’s better. And this week, I’m getting ready to let my novel go.
But my question to you is: How do you know when your novel is ready?