Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cutting Loose Your Babies

When are you done? When have you found the bottom of the error pit and are now just massaging words? When do you cut your baby loose? I think I'm looking for perfection and perfection doesn't exist. I've excised every typo so that I've gone through it twice now without MSWord or I finding one. No individual lines are unintelligible, at least I don't think they are. I've beat it with my self-help books and checklists, and fear flattening it to the point of dullsville, but yet I still wince at appropriate points (am I too much a weeny), get emotionally choked up at certain points (did I take estrogen by mistake), and can't find any loose ends at the end of the story (except those I manufactured for selected reasons). It has to be ready; it must be ready. But how do I know it's ready? Burping it doesn't seem to help. Ink just dribbles down on my shirt. Is there an acid test other than the obvious down the road, a rejection from an agent? I guess it's like a father after his son has left for college and turned the corner and driven out of sight: "I've done the best I can, and now I get to make his room my man-cave." I guess letting go does have some advantages.

1 comment:

FARfetched said...

I'm about at the same point with my novel as you are with yours. I've decided since I've already started going through it one more time, I'll finish this pass then try to line up a beta reader.

I don't think wincing or choking up at your own work is a flaw — if it still grips you, it ought to grip most readers as well.

Time to start that man-cave. I was actually thinking about making a library out of that room myself.