Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Premature Sending - The Writer Affliction

You all know what I'm talking about… I know you've been hit by that urge… The one that tells you it's a good idea to send that manuscript even though it's not quite done. Maybe not all the chapters have gone through your crit loop, but you're positive the ending is genius.


All lies!

I thought I was over this affliction. I mocked it as I worked on edits for Ruined. But no! The affliction lives on! Two days after submitting my book... Yes... only two days... I'm already getting the itchy finger on my next manuscript. I signed up for an Editor appointment and I'm so excited about the person, publishing house and new series, that I'm going to have a hard time waiting until New York. But I will not fall victim to this dreaded illness! I will give my manuscript the proper love and devotion it deserves.

Don't allow yourself to click prematurely!

What will happen if you prematurely submit is that you will get a rejection because there are hundreds of smarter people out there standing out at publishers because of the professionalism of their submissions. Let us all stand loud, proud and patient. Don't crash the submission high with a premature rejection. Everything happens for a reason. What will be will be. And all those clichés that don’t make a lick of difference when your pointer finger is hovering over that send button.

The worst part of all this is that I know better now! A few years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure I made mistakes. Don’t we all? But now… I know better than to send the manuscript. I know more about what a final product needs to look like. I know these thoughts are wicked! But I’m like the heroine in a romance novel. I just want to be a little bad. But this is a very bad thing! Don’t be tempted to send manuscripts that aren’t finished! *SMACKS FINGERS WITH RULER*

And I’m only telling you all this because I’m really telling myself. Don’t do it, Kinley Baker. That Editor is busy! She deserves your best manuscript that all your critique partners have seen. AND your beta readers. Do not hit send, Kinley. The world won’t end if they don’t read your manuscript tomorrow. But it will end when you see that rejection in your mailbox because you were a little premature. And we all know premature is bad. Am I right, ladies?

How do you keep from sending your manuscripts too soon?


  1. I'm soooo glad you posted this blog, Kinley. I thought I was the only stupid writer. I've done this so many times it's embarrassing to think about it. Thank you, thank you for wacking me on the head (ala Jethro Gibbs of NCIS).

  2. I'm so glad you commented, Darcy. I was hearing crickets in the comments section and was starting to think maybe I'm the only one who struggles!

    But I know I've talked to writers who struggle with this. If you're not ready to go public, I won't spill your secret, but I know you're out there...

  3. Thanks for posting this! I also thought I was the only one who had done this (although it did make me finish the manuscript when they wanted the full.) I sometimes feel that if I don't send something out, I'll miss a big chance, even if the book isn't really ready. I've hopefully learned my lesson, but I still have that itchy finger if I go to a bookstore and start seeing books that have a similar feel to my WIP.

  4. I write my synopsis before I hit send. It's harder to write than the book, and often points out what may be wrong in the plot. Plus, by the time I'm done, my crit partners have had time to read the manuscript :)

  5. I echo Tam.
    The synopsis gives me fits-- and pause. The "Now wait a minute I thought that sounded fine when I wrote it" kind of pause.
    It seems to be part of the learning curve about when to hit 'send.'
    On the other extreme is overpolishing-- stepping on the manuscript until it has no voice.
    Nice post!

  6. Thanks for commenting Melissa! I know how you feel about the similar cover! I've been hearing a lot about the creature in my next series and I'm terrified I'm going to miss that train! I just remind myself getting a rejection is also missing the train.

  7. Wow, Tam! How did you know it was the synopsis that just stopped me from sending something out before it was ready? Great suggestion! I'm proof it works. I couldn't finish the synopsis and that was a big red flag. That's probably why most people despise the synopsis. Personally, I hate red flags :-) It's a big flashy sign that tells me I'm doing something wrong. Those are super inconvenient.

  8. Hi Kelly! I agree. Overpolishing is a huge problem, too. I feel so bad for overpolishers because think of all that work they went through! That's why editing with purpose is so important. Otherwise you're just line editing something for six months but the real problem is the plot. (Been there!)

    I saw this when I went through edits. My attempt to correct bad habits led to other bad habits. Crafting a book is hard work. You learn a lot along the way, but nothing will ever be easy. Thanks for posting!

  9. I'm so happy to see this post. I too have fallen victim to premature submission. It's so thrilling when you finish a manuscript or are excited about one you have high hopes for and you want so much to get it out there that sometimes the lure to submit is too much to resist. I thought I was the only one who'd ever done this before. I'm glad to see there are others. We should form a support group or something. :-)

    Very good post. I've learned a lot since my one early submission. When I get the urge to submit prematurely I immediately log off my computer and make myself do something else for awhile.

  10. Hi Piper! I'll be in the support group. :-) Even if we no longer submit early because we know better, we still get the urge!

  11. Oh I so understand what you mean. We love our baby and can't wait to share it with the world. But we also want the world to be kind to our brainchild, so we need to make sure it's ready to be pushed out of the nest.

    I have a trusted Beta reader who sees everything before I submit the final manuscript to my editor. It's impossible to overstate the importance of an impartial pair of eyes.

    Good luck!