This blog post is a bit late. Oops
However, the title of it explains the reason why quite simply. Oops again.
The hardest part of writing a novel is knowing when to stop. When is it ready for the world; For the agents and the publishers your itching to send it too; When have you finished what you set out to do.
The simple answer is the worst answer ever: Never.
No matter how much time you put in to a manuscript, how much world building and character building and editing you do, no matter how many times you rewrite, it is never going to be perfect. In an instagram post, I said that knowing when to stop was the hardest thing, but you have to do it sometime. I may need to learn to practice what I preach…
I’ve recently started on my second book, and I found it so easy to write the way I wanted it to go that I almost panicked a little, worried that I wasn’t portraying the characters correctly. It made me go back, to re-read it, and after convincing myself that re-writing wasn’t the answer, I decided to edit it one last time.
I realised that it was something else bothering me as well. The basis of my story focuses on prophecies, prophecies I weren’t sure worked, but during the night, when I work, I have loads of times to think about it (and doubt myself), and it’s when I realised that I had all the elements there and I just had to put it in to words. It fitted with everything that had happened, everything that’s going to happen and something I was even unsure about.
So, about fifteen thousand more words later, I think I need to send it away before I ruin it.
I still want to rewrite the whole thing, but it’s only because I worry others won’t love it like I do. But! This month, I am sending it away. I poured my heart in to this book and hopefully, even if they think it’s terrible, they can see that.
So, when do you know your novel is finished? You don’t. I’m sure that even published writers have things they wished they’d changed, even J.K Rowling wishes she’d shipped Hermione with Harry rather than Ron. So, just know, that even the writers you look up to still regret things they’ve written, even when it’s been published for nearly twenty years!
So, once you finished it, send it. You may get a load of rejections, but you may just get a letter saying they want to see more of the world you created!
Just keep writing… Or don’t, you know what I mean…