How much changes?

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Mark.W.Carson
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How much changes?

Post by Mark.W.Carson » December 28th, 2011, 1:05 pm

So, I have been writing my MS for some time now, and I have gotten a lot better with some critiques of people who have read excerpts. However, I tend to go back and re-edit a lot, especially on days where I don't feel I will be adding something good enough to the new side of my work.

How much of the original submission is actually published. I realize that is subjective, but I was wondering more about the process. Do you normally go through to the query stage when you think you have a fairly polished work? How can you be certain you can't make it any better?

Once they have it at an agent that wishes to work with you, how many times do they ask for revisions or changes? How much is often changed?

When it hits publishers, the same question as the above.


Thanks,

Mark

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CharleeVale
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Re: How much changes?

Post by CharleeVale » December 28th, 2011, 3:02 pm

You couldn't have said it better yourself. It's all subjective.

There is no set rule for this situation. They ask for revisions/edits as many times as they feel are necessary. It's a greatly personalized process and the answer varies from case to case. Sorry to be so vague, but it's true. Every manuscript is different.

And yes, you usually go through the query process with polished work. You can't be certain that you can't make it better, because we're writers, and we'll never be truly finished tweaking something. Just make it as good as you believe you are able, and go from there.

CV

P.S. If you are anywhere close to querying, DO YOUR RESEARCH for agents. Don't sabotage a good MS with bad research.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: How much changes?

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 4th, 2012, 12:00 am

mark54g wrote:So, I have been writing my MS for some time now, and I have gotten a lot better with some critiques of people who have read excerpts. However, I tend to go back and re-edit a lot, especially on days where I don't feel I will be adding something good enough to the new side of my work.

How much of the original submission is actually published. I realize that is subjective, but I was wondering more about the process. Do you normally go through to the query stage when you think you have a fairly polished work? How can you be certain you can't make it any better?

Once they have it at an agent that wishes to work with you, how many times do they ask for revisions or changes? How much is often changed?

When it hits publishers, the same question as the above.


Thanks,

Mark
At every stage you should be turning in a draft that is as polished and ready to go as you can make it. Usually there is some revision that happens when you get an agent and still more when you get a publisher. How much varies from book to book, agent to agent, editor to editor etc., but if you're still tinkering it might not be ready. At some point you have to say "OK I'm done" and turn it in and know that there will be future changes, but the work you turn in should be as polished as possible.

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: How much changes?

Post by Mark.W.Carson » January 5th, 2012, 8:17 pm

Thanks, Nathan.

I do hope to have things as "ready to go" as possible, but I realize that being close to your work as an author means you may overlook things like a choice of words here, or a thought there that make things a little less clear for someone on their first read through, so that will change. I just have heard some stories where an agent or a publisher will say "You should develop more of this <minor plot point>" at the detriment of some other major point in the story.

I want to make sure that while some changes will be added for clarity or for conciseness, that the overall story and feel does not change. In the rush to being a published author, I don't want to disregard the creativity that went into it for the sake of a publishing credit.

Also... How do you know when you are done? As I have seen and said before, there are always changes I consider every time I do a read through. :)

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: How much changes?

Post by Nathan Bransford » January 6th, 2012, 11:16 pm

mark54g wrote:Thanks, Nathan.

I do hope to have things as "ready to go" as possible, but I realize that being close to your work as an author means you may overlook things like a choice of words here, or a thought there that make things a little less clear for someone on their first read through, so that will change. I just have heard some stories where an agent or a publisher will say "You should develop more of this <minor plot point>" at the detriment of some other major point in the story.

I want to make sure that while some changes will be added for clarity or for conciseness, that the overall story and feel does not change. In the rush to being a published author, I don't want to disregard the creativity that went into it for the sake of a publishing credit.

Also... How do you know when you are done? As I have seen and said before, there are always changes I consider every time I do a read through. :)
Well, it's up to the author to fix the things that their agent/publisher thinks need fixing without losing the other plot points. Sometimes that involves finding a "third way" that satisfies both the agent/publisher's concerns without losing other elements that are good.

Knowing when you're done is a very personal thing - here is a really interesting discussion on how different people approach it: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009/06 ... -your.html

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