This summer has been busy between expecting our second, chasing around a toddler and trying to get together with friends and family before the arrival of #2. It has left little time or energy for writing. As my self-imposed deadline for submission of November is right around the corner, I am faced with the choice of submitting as is or accepting that it will be another year to two before the manuscript is ready.
I wrote the outline for Safe Word nearly 5 years ago, the first draft 3 years ago. I've never worked on a project this long and stuck with it. Either a new idea comes along or I just get frustrated with the state of the manuscript and trunked it.
The current manuscript is okay. I could probably submit it as is, but there are some known problems:
- Some fact checking confirmed that scenes with the pathologist character are not true to life. In fact, I need to give her a different job so she can have access to the information she needs to have access to and re-write just about every scene that happens in the morgue because it isn't the way things are done in the Minneapolis medical examiner's office.
- I have yet to fact check with the Minneapolis police department to make sure my police proceedure is somewhat rounded in reality versus TV logic.
- One of my biggest flaws as an author is having too many unnecessary words. It slows the pace and risks losing the reader.
- Second biggest flaw is the absence of scene setting. I'm a minimalist when it comes to setting the scene, but my new writing group has helped me realize that I only needs to add in a few details as a part of the blocking to ground the reader.
- The constant need for line edits.
My impulse is to submit this manuscript and let the chips fall where they may. However, the more I think about it the more I realize there are some very concrete things I can do to make a great manuscript out of a good one and maybe even be able to draw the attention of an agent or print-based publication.
I guess I have my answer. Patience and perseverance.