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Writing Worry #38: When to submit

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. One of my biggest flaws as an author is having too many unnecessary words. It slows the pace and risks losing the reader.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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