Knowing When a Manuscript is Complete

After toiling days, weeks, months and sometimes years on a manuscript, how do you know when the baby is all grown up? Sometimes you don’t and it will take others giving you permission to release the story you have so carefully crafted.

There are a few subtle clues your quest is nearing completion. Here are the ones that pushed me towards THE END:

  1. Each chapter has a beginning, middle and end. Reading one randomly makes me feel right at home.
  2. After reading my manuscript for perhaps the hundredth time, there are no more deletions or additional lines to add.
  3. I did my thousandth grammar check in Word and discovered no errors according to their rules and 0% passive sentences.
  4. I have stopped dreaming about different subplots that need to be deleted or added and it’s not the first thing I think about in the morning.
  5. After putting the story away for two weeks I came back and still loved it.
  6. I’ve stopped going up to perfect strangers and asking them “Would you like to critique my book?”
  7. My last group of critiques centered around “ It made me laugh, cry…” instead of “Why did you…” or “I didn’t understand…”
  8. I have already written the first chapter for my next story and am thinking more about it than my first manuscript.
  9. People stopped asking me, “Where have you been?”
  10. I’m reading other people’s books again.

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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