Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Overactive Inner Editor

The comments on that last post got me thinking about how debilitating it can be when our inner editors seem to be taking steroids. Does anyone have any tricks or suggestions about knowing when to stop editing? How do you know when your manuscript is finished?


Lazy Writer said...

I have no idea when you know if your ms is ready, but please let me know if you find out! :)

Dawn VanderMeer said...


Hee! I assume it varies from writer to writer. For me, I know I'm done when I feel like I just can't make it any better, and it's shiny all over. It's finished if I think all I'm doing is tinkering with commas and minute words, like I'm licking my hand to try and part its hair another way when it already looks good. Then, usually, time gives me the feeling it isn't quite as shiny as I thought, I find some places to improve, and I'm finished again.

As you know, I'm not yet published, but I've heard of some authors who say they are even making changes as they do book readings! For our purposes, I'm defining "finished" as "ready to submit".

How about the rest of you? Any suggestions or "spaghetti sticking to the wall" tests you can offer? How do YOU know when you're done?

Note: I don't actually lick my hand to part my hair. ;)