Monday, September 7, 2009

Twelve Drafts Are Enuf - For Now

I had to laugh the other day when I read on an agent's website -- I think it was Ethan Ellenberg, by all accounts a crackerjack agent that any writer would be lucky to have -- that the prospective author should be sure to have done at least "three drafts" before submitting his ms.

Three drafts!

I have been through this mofo so many times I've lost count. I think it's at least twelve. Even on the twelfth run-through I found two typos -- "going" instead of "go" and "ext" instead of "exit" -- and a few other things I wanted to change a bit.

But I am done now. I've rewritten chapter one three or four times in the last week so it's more "First Five Pages"-worthy. If there's a typo left anywhere in the ms. I'll never find it.

In a way it's a relief, but it also means I've got nothing left to do, writing-wise, except look at the e-mail in-box and see if I've penetrated the barbed-wire barrier that surrounds agent world far enough to get someone to ask to see my book.

Or start on that second novel. You know, the one for which I have no ideas...


  1. If it makes you feel any better, the novel Im working on now is my third. The first one got revised about six times, but never made it to query level. The second was revised twice as much, and was received to glorious query form rejections. They are both still sitting on my hard drive, untouched for a few years. If this one fails as well, I'll just write another one. Until I get one published, then, having the older ones, I can quickly increase my inventory.

  2. "Three drafts?" She laughed maniacally, her hair hopelessly caught in the agent-guarding barbed wire. "Closer to thirty-three!"

  3. Hi Travener, I must have "combed" one of my novels at least ten times, printed some copies from Lulu, and when reading it, howled when I found three more typos. They must breed somehow...

    I guess this is still twenty times better than seeing typos in a properly published novel...

  4. I've got a friend who is a fine writer. He always recs hiring a proof reader before subbing. I think he's onto something. As for me, how many rounds? Well, I have no way of counting, and it isn't even finished.